KARACHI: When it comes to implementation of traffic rules and regulations, the traffic police take care of what they consider the 'important parts' of the city, which are known as 'model roads' of Karachi in their lingo.
On Thursday, in an interview with a private TV channel, Traffic DIG Amir Ahmed Shaikh announced that heavy vehicles and rickshaws will not be allowed entry on Sharae Faisal, from Monday. However, when the announcement drew criticism from the public and rickshaw drivers later in the night, the decision was taken back - for a month.
According to Muhammad Idrees, who is a reader to DIG Shaikh, rickshaw drivers violate traffic rules on the city's main artery by plying their vehicle on the fast track and sometimes park their vehicles on the road, choking the traffic flow and creating problems for commuters heading to the airport.
He explained that it was just a proposal to bar the rickshaw drivers from plying their vehicles on Sharae Faisal and nothing in this regard has been notified as yet. He said that the proposal has been put on the back burner for now, adding that the traffic police will come up with a decision after a survey.
Had the decision has been enforced, he explained, the traffic police had planned a proper diversion for rickshaw drivers from Quaidabad and Dawood Chowrangi towards Korangi Road and from Pehalwan Goth towards Jauhar Town.
According to him, the Traffic DIG has the power to bar any sort of vehicle from entering any of the city's arteries in order to maintain the flow of traffic under the Motor Vehicle Ordinance (MVO) 116-A.
Model road from Monday
Last week, the traffic department had termed the 18-kilometre-long Sharae Faisal, from Hotel Metropole to Jinnah International Airport, a 'model road'. Shaikh had announced 'zero tolerance' against all kinds of traffic violations on this model road and 132 policemen were deployed on the main artery from other parts of the city - leaving the remaining areas to fend for themselves.
Apart from this, the five main intersections of the city — Fawwara Chowk, Do Talwar, Teen Talwar, Sindh Club and Ocean Chowk — and the different roads leading to Defence and Clifton are already considered 'model roads' while the rest of the city's roads are perhaps the stepchildren of the traffic regulators.
Proper marking of lanes and constables donning white uniforms are the salient features of these special roads.
From Monday, according to Idrees, proper patrolling on Sharae Faisal will kick off. He said that they will put up signboards and banners featuring specifications of the 'model roads'. "Pamphlets will be distributed among the public for their education," he said, adding that proper lane marking will be ensured. According to the plan, public buses will run in the left-most lanes, with motorcycles in the middle lanes and cars on the fast track, which is the right-most lane. No heavy vehicle will be allowed at any time of the day to ply on Share Faisal. He added that more than two people on one motorcycle will be fined as this is banned under MVO's Section 89. According to him, the driver and the rider on the motorcycle have to wear the helmet, including women and children, under MVO's clause 89-A.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2016.
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