Road rage: Wassan critiques jam-packed roads, traffic cop wishes cars could fly

Managing traffic when the city is playing host to rallies is difficult.


Express December 29, 2011

KARACHI: Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan has expressed his “dismay” over the poor management of traffic, but did not reproach any of the officers in the traffic police force responsible for the state of the roads.

A press release issued by Wassan’s office stated that he met with IG Sindh Mushtaq Shah and expressed his disapproval of the frequent traffic jams and display of indiscipline on the roads of Karachi. Wassan directed Shah to take immediate steps to improve the situation.

While a senior police official claimed that someone should take notice of DIG Traffic Khurram Gulzar – since he has been at his current post for years and traffic management has “worsened” during his tenure - Gulzar said he did not know what the hoopla was all about. “There are 2.5 million vehicles plying on the roads of the city today and managing the traffic is a nightmarish experience,” he said.

Gulzar, for his part, was surprised at the home minister’s statement, since he thought the traffic had been clear in the city on Wednesday. “The roads of Karachi are not like runways where cars can fly to ease up the traffic congestion, even though I wish they could,” he said.

He also believes that managing the traffic is difficult at a time when political rallies were being held in the city. On December 25, the city played host to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf rally and Jamaat-e-Islami is following suit this weekend. “The government should restrict the rallies to grounds since managing the traffic during rallies becomes very difficult,” he said.

A key post in the traffic department has also been vacant for months. Ever since Mushtaq Shah took over as IG Sindh, the post of Additional IG Traffic that he previously held has not been filled.

DIG South Commander Shaukat is one of the main contenders for the Additional IG Traffic post, but he told The Express Tribune that no decision has been made yet about his posting to the department.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2011.

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