KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered on Wednesday the provincial transport secretary and Karachi traffic police’s chief to immediately stop the movement of heavy vehicles from 6am to 11pm within the limits of the city.
A two-judge bench, comprising justices Nadeem Akhtar and Faheem Ahmed Siddiqui, further ordered them to deploy extra, efficient and effective traffic police force to implement these directives in letter and spirit and take strict action against the violators.
Both the officers will personally appear in the court on March 28 along with detailed reports regarding measures taken by them to stop movement of heavy vehicles within the city between the specified hours.
Karachi-wide: Heavy traffic banned from 6am to 11pm
The directives came on a petition jointly filed by Faisal Bengali and others against movement of heavy vehicles on the city’s roads and through residential localities during daytime.
The petitioners said they were permanent residents of the city and were distressed because of the prevailing situation of traffic that was deteriorating with each passing day.
Their lawyer, Muhammad Abdur Rehman, informed the judges that the Supreme Court (SC) had directed the traffic police chief in August 2007 to immediately stop the entry of heavy vehicles in the city during daytime and regulate such flow of traffic only between 11pm and 6am. He said the apex court had observed that except in exceptional cases, the ban on entry of heavy vehicles in the city during daytime will continue to remain in force until further orders.
The court was informed that on February 20, the Karachi commissioner had imposed a ban on entry of heavy vehicles in the city between 6am and 11pm for three years.
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Rehman pointed out that despite the orders issued by the SC and the city commissioner, heavy vehicles continued to ply the roads during daytime in every part of the city, including residential areas, causing imminent threat to the lives, liberties and properties of the citizens.
He told the court that the relevant authorities, including the Sindh transport department and the Karachi traffic police, were duty-bound to take immediate and appropriate measures for improvement in the traffic flow and safety of the public.
He added that the authorities had failed in discharging their statutory duties and had also failed in implementing the orders of the SC.
On Wednesday, the petitioners moved an application, pleading the court to order the transport secretary and traffic DIG to ensure that heavy vehicles were not allowed on the city routes within the specified hours as they were not only causing fatal accidents but also destroying the roads.
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