The flagging morale of traffic wardens is set to receive a boost following the approval of a summary regarding the promotion of 49 officials from Lahore by IGP Mushtaq Sukhera, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The development is the first of its kind since the inception of the Punjab Traffic Warden Service in 2006. According to the rules of the Punjab Traffic Warden Service Rules 2007, every warden had to be promoted following the completion of five years of service. No headway had been previously made on this account over the course of nine years and authorities have not been able to devise a service and promotion plan.
The summary has been forwarded to the Regulations Wing by the IGP and will be vetted in accordance with the rules of the service.
IGP Sukhera has also proposed amendments to the Punjab Traffic Warden Service Rules 2007 in a bid to establish a service structure and create vacancies for junior staff to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic in the Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Sialkot districts. The IGP has also proposed an amendment to criteria governing wardens’ promotions.
Disillusioned wardens have welcomed the developments as their passage could enable those posted in BS-14 to be made senior wardens on the basis of seniority, a rank equal to that of an inspector. Wardens would also be able to get promoted as SPs and CTOs if the proposed amendments to the rules of the service get approved.
Official statistics, available with The Express Tribune, reveal that 1,145 wardens from the city traffic police had left their jobs after citing a myriad of reasons. Several wardens told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity that lack of promotion opportunities was the chief reason behind the high turnover. They said poor motivation standards among wardens’ ranks could also be attributed to this.
Nearly 7,000 wardens have been working since 2006-2007 without being promoted province-wide. Statistics available with The Express Tribune show that there are 7,060 wardens across six major cities of the province that include Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Sialkot.
CTO Tayyab Hafeez Cheema said there was a shortage of 120 senior wardens in the city and wardens who met the promotion criteria fell short of the number. Cheema said the criteria had been elucidated in Rule (5) Schedule (1) of the Traffic Warden Service Rules. The criteria includes five years of continuous service, 70 per cent marks in a traffic management course of a three-month duration at the very least and promotion board recommendations and district-wise seniority.
Cheema said the government had also been asked to create vacancies in BPS-5 (for constables), BPS-7 (for senior traffic assistants to head constables) and BPS-9 (for junior traffic wardens to ASIs). A police official told The Express Tribune that the IGP had brought the matter to the attention of the Regulations Wing after Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had approved a summary on this account a month ago.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2015.
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