LAHORE - As paramedics’ sit-in in front of Chief Minister’s Secretariat entered the fourth day, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday expressed his displeasure over poor traffic system in Lahore.

Last month, the Lahore High Court took suo moto notice of holding protest on The Mall and asked the chief minister to explain why this practice was going on, though the court barred such demos on November 2, 2011.

The CJ had taken the notice after he and other judges failed to reach the court on time because of traffic jams caused by a protest outside the Punjab Assembly. Top officials, including DIG (Operations) Haider Ashraf and CTO Tayyab Hafeez Cheema, appeared before the judge on a short notice.

For the past four days, young doctors and nurses have been on protest for the reinstatements of their colleagues in Mayo Hospital outside the CM’s office. For the past two days, members of All Punjab Water Management Association also took to The Mall for regularization of their jobs.

Counter-strike strategy

As part of government strategy to counter frequent strikes of healthcare providers and properly managing administrative affairs of the biggest hospital in the province, the Punjab government has appointed Prof Asad Aslam as first chief executive of Mayo Hospital.

Health Secretary Najam Ahmed Shah has constituted a committee headed by Prof Qazi Saeed to probe death of 18 month old Sana due to alleged negligence of doctors. Prof Ahsan Rathore and Prof Irshad Qureshi will be the other members.

The Mayo Hospital administration has taken approval for sacking 33 nurses who have been on protest. As per the medical superintendent, these nurses take part in protest after marking their attendance.

Dr Amjad Shahzad said that 36 out of 44 recently recruited doctors have assumed duties. He said that 50 nurses have also been recruited and posted at different wards of Mayo Hospital.

Public Miseries

Protests on The Mall continued to prove a nightmare for motorists in the heart of the city especially at peak hours. Motorists criticized the protesters as well as the government for its failure to cope with the situation.

The protest caused traffic jam on The Mall, Sir Agha Khan Road, Canal Bank Road, Aiwan-e-Tajarat Road, Garhi Shahu and adjoining localities. Even ambulances were seen stuck in massive traffic jam.

CM for better traffic plan

According to a handout, the Punjab CM presided over a meeting to traffic system and expressed extreme displeasure over the poor traffic management in Lahore and other big cities of the province.

Shehbaz strongly reprimanded institutions concerned, saying that provincial departments and institutions concerned have been provided resources and they must give results, the handout added.

It quoted CM Shehbaz as saying that in spite of development of infrastructure, widening of roads and construction of flyovers and underpasses, people were still facing traffic problems, which was lamentable.

“Traffic jams and waste of time of people on roads will not be tolerated. There is a need to meet the new challenges of traffic management due to growing population and it is responsibility of departments concerned and institutions to carry out comprehensive planning,” he was cited.

He said he fully aware of the problems of people with regard to traffic system and he is answerable to Allah and the masses. He said that he has been elected by the people to serve them and it is his responsibility to resolve their problems.

The CM said he is working round the clock for the improvement of the system and provision of maximum facilities to the citizens and existing traffic situation is tolerable to him.

He said had the departments concerned and institutions made proper planning, used modern technology and taken effective steps for traffic management, the situation would have been different. He said that people should be facilitated by maintaining a smooth flow of traffic.

He said that the departments concerned will have to perform their duties efficiently and improve traffic system at any cost.

He said that there is no shortage of resources and funds have been given to concerned institutions and departments and they will have to give results.

The Chief Minister said that improvement of traffic system for the benefit of citizens is a collective responsibility of departments and institutions concerned and they will have to show a responsible attitude. He said that it is regrettable that Lahore Parking Company has not brought rotary parking machines despite passage of several months.

He said that these machines would have helped in resolving parking issue. He said that decisions taken in the meetings for improving traffic system have not been implemented in letter and spirit.  He said time has come for institutions concerned to make all out efforts for the improvement of traffic system.

He said that he will personally head the steering committee set up for improving traffic system and will review the measures for facilitating the masses on regular basis. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, Special Assistant Rana Maqbool Ahmed, MPA Jahangir Khanzada, chief secretary, inspector general of police and other top babus attended the meeting.