Nightmarish woes: Traffic accident exposes ITP’s inefficiency

Thousands of commuters, suffered due to the traffic logjam and could not reach their destinations on time


APP December 27, 2018
Islamabad Traffic Police. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: An accident near the Korang Nullah blocked traffic near the Kak Bridge-Gulberg section of the Islamabad Expressway for around six hours on Wednesday.

The accident lays bare the inefficiency and mismanagement of the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) which has time and again claimed that there has been a marked improvement in the regulation and flow of traffic.

According to Koral police station, a bus coming from Lahore collided with a car near the Korang bridge causing minor injury to the driver, but after the accident, it took the traffic police hours to restore the suspended traffic.

Thousands of commuters, including office-goers, students and patients had to suffer as a result of the traffic logjam and could not reach their respective destinations on time in Islamabad.

After being snarled in the traffic for hours on end, some of them returned to their homes dejected.

Inter-city public transport, trucks and long vehicles, plying between Lahore and Peshawar, also had to spend almost half-a-day in the clogged traffic as it was the only route available for them.

Sources in the ITP told the media that a car had plunged into the nullah early on Wednesday. Luckily none of the passengers on board was hurt.

Separately, they said a bus had broken down near the site which caused the traffic jam.

They claimed that soon after the incident, additional ITP officials were deployed at the site to manage the onrushing traffic.

However, they had to wait for a crane to arrive which lifted the stranded bus off the road and cleared it for traffic.

Sources further said that additional traffic police personnel were deployed on the Rawat-Gulberg section of the artery due to its dilapidated condition and narrow passage consisting of two lanes on both sides.

The ITP has already complained of insufficient strength of the staff, which is undermining its efficiency with each passing day

Traffic officials say the traffic flow on the roads of the federal capital have increased manifold over the past 13 years while the strength of their staff has gradually decreased from 685 to 628 owing to the retirement of some officials.

At its inception in 2005, they said that the ITP staff of 685 personnel was mandated to control around 125,000 registered vehicles in the federal capital and those coming from different cities.

Now, the city exclusively owns some 900,000 vehicles and also bears the burden of those coming from other parts of the country. The situation requires an urgent reinforcement of the ITP.

Unruly traffic on this section is a routine matter as the quarters concerned could not complete the signal-free 10-lane corridor from Zero Point to Rawat.

The route, which was to be turned into a signal-free facility by 2017, seems to remain a quagmire for daily commuters even as 2018 comes to an end with the project limited to files and currently, no practical work is visible on the remaining part of the project from Gulberg to Rawat.

Due to this, the daily motorists shuttling on the section have to negotiate a maze of unexpected road bumps, uneven ruts and ditches.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2018.

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