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July 13, 2006

Gulistan-e-Jauhar becomes traffic nightmare

Top Story

July 13, 2006

KARACHI: The ever-growing number of vehicles in Karachi along with the ongoing construction have made our city roads almost unmotorable. To make the situation even worse, the lack of civic sense is always there to assure inconvenience to commuters and drivers.

A perfect example of such chaos is found in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. While driving around the roads and roundabouts of Jauhar, one is found wondering as to why he is driving through this mess, eventually feeling sympathy for residents who face this catastrophe on a daily basis.

Although the entire area has become highly congested, Safoora Chowrangi, Jauhar Chowrangi and Jauhar Mor are traffic bottlenecks that need be addressed on an immediate basis. The city government must find some alternative to avoid or at least minimize the causes of traffic congestion at these points.

Unchecked parking has made life miserable at Safoora Chowrangi. A double line of parked vehicles (mostly taxis and loading vehicles), have occupied most of the space around the roundabout.

The situation is made worse by the speedy minibuses and coaches coming from Malir Cantonment. These buses do not bother stopping for other vehicles and consequently the traffic coming from Kiran Hospital’s direction bears its brunt.

“While turning from Safoora Chowrangi I never know if a bus or a tanker is coming from the other side,” comments Syed Farhan Hyder, a resident of Block-9, Gulistan-e-Jauhar.

He added that the taxis and loading vehicles have made the roundabout a “Lorry Adda” and what makes things more painful and chaotic is that the “Adda” is on the main road.

Farhan, who is also a flight steward in PIA, told The News that this illegal parking should be removed and if possible the roundabout should be reshaped to suit motorists. There is a general feeling that the roundabout is too large and should be made smaller to facilitate the increased flow of traffic.

A sugarcane juice

seller who sits at Safoora Chowrangi says, “I am witnessing the same situation for the past five years.” He also mentions that randomly parked vehicles around the roundabout and on both sides of the road increase overnight and the drivers leave their vehicles behind when going for meals in nearby restaurants.

Motorists on their way through Jauhar Square and Jauhar Chowrangi also face severe congestion due to bad driving. The random parking in service lanes in addition to the encroachments by grocers makes travel extremely tiresome.

“Jauhar has become a busy area as most of the buildings have been commercialized in the vicinity,” said Noman Ahmed, a resident of Block-14. “It is obvious that such a commercial area would have congestion issues.” According to him the installation of a signal at Jauhar Chowrangi will help solve the problem.

Ahmed further stated that the service lanes have been encroached by grocers and the rest of the place is used for parking purposes. In addition, the footpaths are being used for dumping garbage.

There are many societies in Jauhar but there are no streetlights and the roads are in a bad shape. The entire area suffers from the same problem. A commuter was found saying “I remember every ditch that comes in my way because they have been there for so long.”

Last but not least, Jauhar Mor is the spot where one can actually observe the lack of patience and civic sense among commuters. During rush hour, drivers avoid using the lane defined for turning left. This adds to the already congested signal while the traffic coming from Gulistan-e-Jauhar also violates the signals, thus leading to jams.

Things do not end here. There are a few careless drivers who neither have any patience nor do they hold any respect for pedestrians and traffic laws. While coming from Millennium Mall they should logically join the queue of vehicles turning right (to Gulistan-e-Jauhar). However when they find the signal closed, they move straight and turn from a nearby intersection, causing serious traffic blockade and upsetting the entire system of traffic flow.

Gulistan-e-Jauhar is one of the key linking areas of Karachi and has grown considerably. It is becoming increasingly commercial when compared with the past and nearly all residents own a car. The city government should come up with a strategy to facilitate the traffic situation and overcome the chaos experienced in this area. If they ignore it, it may well become a threat for the government in the near future.

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