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January 9, 2019

ITP yet to comply with DC’s directions

Islamabad

January 9, 2019

Islamabad : When the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad, Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat, issued orders to stop movement of heavy traffic (trucks, tankers and trailers) on the Islamabad Expressway from T-Chowk near Rawat up to Faizabad fly-over during morning and evening peak rush hours, the commuters heaved a sigh of relief.

It was a pragmatic approach to manage the rush hours traffic load when the Deputy Commissioner issued orders to stop all heavy traffic on Islamabad Expressway from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. in morning and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in evening, helping people going to offices, businesses, schools and colleges and returning home.

The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) responded positively to the directions as the movement of heavy traffic is being controlled in the morning. However, it is observed that even the light traffic gets clogged at a couple of points, especially at the ‘Khanna Bridge’ while coming towards Islamabad and then again at Faizabad intersection, where it gets chocked because of the police security check point.

But one must concede that the absence of heavy traffic has mitigated the sufferings of commuters and brought a certain amount of relief in the lives of motorists coming to Islamabad in morning rush hours.

The two chocking points, ‘Khanna Pull’ and Faizabad police check post, could also easily be managed if the Islamabad Traffic Police may take some serious initiatives to regulate traffic at these two points.

But the worrying fact is that the orders of the Deputy Commissioner to stop heavy traffic movement on the Islamabad Expressway in the evening, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m, is still not being implemented by the Islamabad Traffic Police .

The Islamabad Traffic Police, it is believed, has not conduct any traffic count survey on major arteries of the federal capital such as the Kashmir Highway, the 5-lane Islamabad Highway and the two-lane Islamabad Expressway beyond Korang nullah bridge up to T-Chowk on the Grand Trunk (GT) Road, the Jinnah Avenue, the Khayaban-e-Iqbal (old Margalla Road) and the Murree Expressway.

If we are not mistaken the last nation-wide traffic count survey to assess the traffic load on country’s national highways was conducted by the National Transport Research Center (NTRC) back in late 1970s (probably starting from 1977) and it was the NTRC, which also published country’s first ‘National Highway Code’, a booklet, which was declared compulsory for every driver to carry.

However, the issue at hand is that the Islamabad Traffic Police, for some inexplicable reasons, seems not interested in implementing the orders of the Deputy Commissioner to stop movement of heavy traffic in the evening rush hours of 5 p.m to 7 p.m. on the Islamabad Expressway and the Islamabad Highway.

As a result the commuters continue to suffer on their way back home at the end of a hectic days’ work in offices and work places. The situation remains particularly torturous for the motorists travelling to their abodes in towns and settlements located beyond Korang Nullah bridge because of the crawling heavy traffic.

One can imagine as to what happens if one of these monster crawlers broke down, which they do from time to time because of unprecedented overloading, by just going through as to what happened Monday morning at Faizabad fly-over where only one truck turned turtle and crippled the whole traffic flow on the Expressway!

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