GUJRANWALA: Traffic problems are worsening in Gujranwala, which is the fifth largest district of Pakistan and has a significant importance when it comes to the industry.
Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Asif Siddique heads a team of 246 officers and staff in the district. About 1.2 million vehicles pass the city’s roads daily and traffic problems have been increasing with each passing day.
There are four railway crossings - Dwadha, Govinda, Sialkot and Sheranwala on GT Road.
Heavy traffic pressure is witnessed in these areas and when trains arrive at the crossings, long queues of vehicles are formed, The Express Tribune learnt.
The traffic authorities have erected barriers near the railway crossing on GT Road to facilitate traffic.
Similarly, traffic near schools and colleges increases during peak hours in certain areas. These areas include Satellite Town Road, Nursery Road, Dastagir Chowk, Muneer Chowk, Civil Hospital Road, Excise Office Road, National Bank Road, Pasrur Road, Gul Road, Sui Gas Road and Sialkot Road.
‘Poor road engineering behind traffic congestion, accidents’
Vehicles remain stuck in traffic jams for hours, which also causes noise and air pollution.
The CTO said he was aware of the traffic problems of the city and had taken some actions to address them. “We have repaired traffic signals so that citizens can follow the traffic laws.”
The CTO pointed out that there are 40 schools and colleges and 50 private hospitals in the areas and they have no car parking space. “Due to this, the vehicles are parked on the roads and maintaining two-way traffic becomes difficult.”
He said a letter had also been sent to the metropolitan corporation, calling for action against owners of buildings without parking areas but no development had taken place in this regard.
“However, Commissioner Zahid Akhtar Zaman has worked on the issue and construction of roads has begun. Traffic problems will ease if the condition of roads improves.”
Another major reason for the prevailing traffic problems in the city is the increase in encroachment by markets, food vendors, stallholders, peddlers and hawkers on the roads, the official explained.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2020.