KARACHI - Expressing his displeasure on parking of vehicles on the main roads at commercial buildings, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed traffic police to launch a vigorous operation to remove commercial activities from the basements approved in the layout plan for parking purpose. He was presiding over a meeting to resolve traffic jams issues taking place in the city here at the CM House on Monday.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, Additional IG Traffic Mushtaq Maher, Home Secretary Qazi Shahid Parvez, Commissioner Karachi Aijaz Ali Khan, DIG Traffic Asif Aijaz Shaikh, DG KDA Nasir Abbas, PD Karachi Niaz Soomro, Engineer Khalid, Senior Director Traffic Engineer Bureau Qazi Abdul Qadir and other concerned officers.

The chief minister said that he was not happy with the present traffic management. “I am witnessing traffic jams almost on all the important roads of the city,” he said and added that the commercial plazas at Tariq Road, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Aisha Manzil, Clifton, Shaharah-e-Faisal and other areas have turned their parking lots constructed in their basements into shops and go-downs.

“This is a sheer violation of rules and defiance of government writ and I would not allow this kind of attitude,” he said categorically.

He directed Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal to arrange police force for Commissioner Karachi and DIG traffic to remove illegal business activities set up in the basements of the shopping plazas which are only meant for their parking. “Why do you [DIG traffic] allow parking of vehicles on the main roads at Tariq Road, Clifton and in other areas,” he asked him and said again no parking would be allowed on the roads.

He directed Adl IG traffic and Traffic Engineering bureau to work out a detailed plan to remove traffic bottlenecks from Metropole Hotel and submit him the same within a week for his approval. The issues of other bottlenecks identified time to time may also be resolved, he said.

Additional IG Karachi Mushtaq Maher giving presentation to the chief minister said that city of Karachis spread over an area of 3,527 sq kms with a 10,000 km road network. Its population is about 23.7 million and around four million vehicles are registered here with an increase of 1186 vehicles per day.

The chief minister asked Mushtaq Maher to identify traffic choking points in the city. On this Mr Maher said there were 26 choking points, they include one in South, 14 in the city [Jurisdiction of Distt. South], three in Central, one in the East, four in the West and three in Malir. On this the chief minister directed him to give him a comprehensive plan for smooth flow of traffic in the 26 choking points. the chief minister directed him to sit with Traffic Engineering people and prepare a comprehensive plan for smooth flow of traffic in the 26 choking points

Adl IG Traffic said that during 2017 traffic police has challaned 1.37 million vehicles for violation of traffic rules and imposed a Rs322 million fine against which Rs278.8 million have been recovered so far.

Maher said that at present only 2,525 policemen are regulating vehicular traffic in two shifts. Ultimately, 1,262 police personnel have to cater to the need of this metropolitan city in each shift. On this the chief minister said that the newly recruited 4,227 policemen are on their training and this shortage would be over as and when they returned after completion of their training. The chief minister constituted a committee under Adl IG Traffic, DIG Traffic, Senior Director Traffic Engineering Bureau, a representative of PD Karachi Package to review each and every route/road, arrangement of signals and such other factors and give their plan to resolve the situation.