Rescue Week: Road obstructions cause most accidents

City govt and Rescue 1122 dedicate week to traffic and building safety.


Express June 13, 2011

LAHORE:


The City District Government of Lahore (CDGL) and Rescue 1122 will educate commuters about road safety and try to get building safety laws implemented during ‘Rescue Week’ from June 13 to June 18, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Ahad Khan Cheema told a press conference on Monday.


Cheema spoke about the major causes of road accidents in the city. One was the poor design of major roads such as the breaking of medians to create illegal turns. Encroachments restricted road space and caused more accidents. He said 80 per cent of fatalities in accidents involving motorbikes could be prevented if all motorcyclists wore safety helmets.

The DCO said that the city government’s drive against encroachments was continuing, but it was much easier to remove encroachments than to make sure that they stay removed. “So far we have fired 18 officers for encouraging the encroachers to re-encroach,” he said.

Cheema said that city and rescue officials would meet with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) during the week to chalk out a plan for introducing emergency safety procedures at factories and industrial units.

He said that Rescue 1122 was the only service in Lahore for immediate emergency response. He said that so far Rescue 1122 had received 10,204,510 emergency calls, of which it had responded to 290,871 and rescued 294,183 people.

Cheema said that buildings by-laws were being implemented in more developed areas. No new buildings were being made there without proper approval.

But in congested areas, he said, the city did not have the manpower to enforce the buildings by-laws. He said that these areas were packed with illegal plazas because of a lack of town planning over several years. He said that a big metropolis like Lahore required around 2,000 town planners, but the city had less than a dozen. He said that all these issues would be discussed at a seminar at Aiwan-i-Iqbal on June 16.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2011.

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