LAHORE – The City’s traffic police, ably assisted by the enforcement inspectors of the City District Government, last week challaned over 50,000 motorists who had got caught up in interminable traffic jams while traveling on the 20 under-construction model roads. The traffic cops showed this hilarious progress while obeying orders of the Lahore Commissioner and the Chief Traffic Officer, data collected from the Commissioner’s Office has revealed.

The challan figures, compiled by the traffic police, show that some 6,000 motorists were ticketed every day on account of traffic rules violation. Most of them got tickets for violating the one-way rule, despite the fact that the other half of almost all the under-construction roads is always closed for traffic.

Moreover, the slow-paced work on these major but under-construction roads, consuming and going to consumes billons of rupees with a purpose to ensuring a smooth traffic, is causing a massive nuisance for the motorists. Among the proposed model roads, where the construction work is underway while traffic messes are witnessed daily, include the Ferozpur Road, Multan Road, Allama Iqbal Road and Canal Bank Road.

However, construction work at some of said roads was started a couple of months ago but it seemed that construction work on these roads could not be completed within the given time frame despite strict instruction from the provincial government as well as the higher authorities of concerned departments.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner Lahore Division Jawad Rafiq Malik, on the instructions of provincial government declared such roads to be model roads for traffic and ordered the traffic police and the Town Municipal Authorities to challaned maximum number of motorists daily. And they did in compliance with Commissioner’s orders by challanning motorists even without any traffic violation just for showing their efficiency and performance and challaned even those commuters blocked in traffic mess or while getting rid of traffic jams by taking alternate route, marked by city traffic police under given traffic plan.

However, the motorists protested against such above the law action of challans of already troubled and messed in traffic jams and demanded the government to stop challans while traveling on these under construction roads till the completion of ongoing construction work and ensuring the smooth flow of traffic. The motorists termed such traffic challans and act of the government officials with exploitation.

Nauman Arif, a resident of Model Town, said that it was duty of the government to facilitate the citizens by providing maximum facilities but the authorities concerned are misusing powers by issuing such kind of orders prior to provide all essential facility to the motorists while traveling on roads and ensuring smooth flow of traffic.

“No doubt the traffic police have powers to challan the motorists but on violation of traffic rules and not on remaining blocked in worst traffic jams on the roads,” said Khurram Yaqoob, resident of Muslim Town adding that the traffic police must focus on clearing traffic particularly during the peak traffic hours at these under construction roads instead of achieving target of maximum number of challans of innocent motorist.

Talking to this scribe, Mian Naeem Iqbal, a commuter, blamed that poor planning on part of the government and the road planners are responsible for such an inconvenience and traffic jams because of lazy work, being started on the linking roads at the same time which depicts poor planning.

Kashif Mehmood, another commuter, said the government must plan complete such projects as soon as possible because further delay in accomplishing construction of these roads could cause more inconvenience for the commuters and could lead huge traffic jams as well.

However, undue delay in achieving target of completion of road construction is causing massive nuisance for the commuters and leading frequent traffic jams on such roads all the day in general and during the peak traffic hours in particular and the citizens are facing in convenience while traveling on these roads and could not reach their destinations timely.

It may be mentioned here that besides starting construction work or carpeting of these roads, the government also launched a number of mega projects on these roads such as construction of flyovers, overhead bridges and under passes work at different intersections of the Ferozpur Road and Multan Road are also pending while road widening project on Canal Bank Road and reconstruction of Allama Iqbal Road from Railway Station to Dharampura are also quarry of delayed and slow paced construction work.

Further, ongoing work on construction of Kalma Chowk Underpass and at the same time initiation of Canal Flyovers on Ferozpur Road starting ascending from Wapda Hospital Ichra and descending near PCIR Laboratories and office of Police Transport by crossing Muslim Town Mor and Canal Bank Road at the same time which also marred smooth flow of traffic not only on the Ferozpur Road and Wahdat Road but also on the Canal Bank Road where the road widening project is also going on already which further hit the smooth flow of traffic in the entire area including the linking roads.

It was witnessed that during peak traffic hours, hundreds of vehicles were blocked in flood of traffic at above said roads and remained jam in the traffic for hours while the commuters seemed in trouble while traveling on these roads due to huge traffic mess and were looking helpless in finding any alternate route to continue their traveling for reaching their destinations in time with their families.