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March 14, 2019

SHC directs commissioner to improve Karachi’s traffic situation

Karachi

March 14, 2019

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday directed the Karachi commissioner to improve the city’s traffic situation by convening a meeting with all the stakeholders of the transport department, including the representatives of transporters, for implementing the long-term and short-terms plans recommended by the technical committee.

Hearing a petition with regard to the prevailing situation of traffic and the movement of heavy vehicles in different parts of the city, the SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar said that a monitoring committee should be constituted for implementing the action plan.

The commissioner submitted a compliance report with regard to the implementation of the court’s directives. The representatives of transporters’ organisations expressed their reservations, saying that they were not provided the proper right of audience and that they had attended only one meeting.

The city mayor and the commissioner said that one more meeting is to be held on March 19 at the commissioner’s office, adding that the transporters’ bodies can attend that meeting and share their suggestions.

The commissioner said that there are so many federal government departments that need to be taken on board, including the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), the Port Qasim Authority (PQA), the Pakistan Railways, the cantonment boards and the National Highway Authority (NHA).

The NHA’s counsel sought time to file a proper statement with regard to the compliance with the court’s directives. The bench issued notices to the KPT, the PQA, the Railways and the cantonments boards to come to court through their representatives or their respective counsels.

The Supreme Council of All Pakistan Transporters’ representative said that 500 acres were initially allocated for the truck and bus stand at the Northern Bypass.

He said the allocation was then curtailed to 150 acres and even that portion of the land had not been handed over to the Karachi Municipal Corporation to set up a stand for heavy vehicles.

The provincial law officer sought time from the court to call the report from a senior member of the Board of Revenue Sindh by the next date of hearing.

The bench directed the commissioner to submit the compliance report with regard to the implementation of the court’s directives after convening a meeting with all the stakeholders of the transport department in the next date of hearing.

The technical committee that was constituted to streamline heavy traffic in the city had suggested the removal of encroachments from the all main arteries and the construction of a Southern Bypass, an elevated expressway and interchange bridges in different areas to ease the flow of 107,000 heavy vehicles plying here.

The committee headed by the transport secretary had recommended long-term and short-term plans for improving the traffic situation in the city. The body also suggested proper implementation of traffic routes and traffic laws after revisiting the situation on the ground.

The committee said encroachments should be removed from all the main roads and arteries and oil tankers shifted to the Zulfikarabad oil terminal as part of the short-term measures.

The body said U-turns along the Northern Bypass, Mauripur Road and Lyari River should be closed and all civic agencies set up mobile repairing units for the immediate maintenance of damaged roads and removal of debris in case of accidents.

The committee suggested that the dual carriageway of the Northern Bypass be executed as early as possible and new truck terminals constructed at the bypass on the National Highway as part of the long-term measures.

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