KARACHI: Haphazard parking of motorcycles on the main Stadium Road stretching from Hassan Square to the Stadium Flyover has been a source of inconvenience for motorists. Extensive parking outside the office of Gulshan SP causes the traffic on the main road to be jammed frequently. Most of the motorcycles parked along the road bear police number plates.
Sir Shah Suleman Road which stretches from Hassan Square to Stadium Road has significant places located at it such as the Expo Centre, Aziz Bhatti police station and the National Institute of Blood Diseases.
The motorcycles parked outside the SP office and the police station cause traffics jams on the main road troubling commuters and citizens.
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According to the citizens, the motorcycles belong to police officers and have number plates bearing police monograms.
Citizens maintain that there is no service road before the main gate of the Expo Centre but the service road that follows, leading to Aziz Bhatti police station, has been closed with concrete blocks and is used as a parking area. Sindh IG Dr Kaleem Imam has ordered strict action against fake number plates bearing police monograms but dozens of motorcycles can be seen outside the office of Gulshan SP.
Meanwhile, passing Saddar during peak traffic hours has become extremely difficult. Despite an extensive operation by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), encroachments still prevail on a number of roads and pathways in Saddar. The on-going construction work for the underpass on Numaish Chowrangi intersection leaves the road blocked for hours as the incoming traffic from Preedy Street to Saddar causes traffic jams.
KMC claimed the removal of thousands of illegal structures including stalls, push-carts and vendors from footpaths and roads in Saddar but the commercial hub of the city is dotted with encroachments again leading to regular traffic jams in the area. Citizens cannot walk on the footpaths either. Besides, due to the construction work on MA Jinnah Road for the underpass, the path stretching from Numaish Chowrangi to Capri cinema remains closed causing hundreds of thousands of vehicles to take Preedy Street to reach Tibet Centre and return to MA Jinnah Road. The increased traffic coupled with encroachments results in citizens having to spend hours for a journey which would otherwise last a few minutes.
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The encroachments have reportedly covered one road track each on Preedy Street, Regal, Zaibunnisa Street, Korangi Bus Stop, Passport Office, Abdullah Haroon Road and related roads.
Sources blame officials of the anti-encroachment campaign and the police for the re-emergence of encroachments. Saddar is one of the biggest commercial centres of Karachi with thousands of citizens making way to the market every day. Similarly, MA Jinnah Road is the busiest road of the city after Sharae Faisal and negligence of KMC's anti-encroachment wing and the police is adding to the sufferings of the thousands of citizens who remain stuck in traffic for hours every day.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2019.
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