SIALKOT-A Sialkot district administration, business community and academia have teamed up to bring in betterment in traffic management and end traffic mess in Sialkot.

The troika, comprising the district administration, the business community and the academia made the pledge at the inauguration of Traffic Week held here at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Monday.

SCCI President Majid Raza Bhutta presided over the ceremony. A traffic week is planned in collaboration with the traffic police, which will continue till April 9.

Addressing the participants, the SCCI president said that it is the moral and national duty of every citizen to come forward and play due role for the promotion of traffic rules, underlining that traffic rules is must to ensure road safety. On the occasion, the participants asked the government to include traffic rules chapter in educational curriculum to promote traffic sense amongst students.

They said that people of Sialkot should be educated through awareness-raising programmes about traffic bylaws. The participants also put forwards various suggestions for betterment in traffic system in Sialkot.

The Sialkot exporters also asked the district administration to approach managements of private schools and colleges to establish their own parking lots for vehicles meant for pick and drop the students.

They pointed out that vehicles parked on main city roads in front of private schools and colleges create traffic mess, especially during opening and closing timings.

Addressing the participants, Sialkot AC Shahid Abbas welcomed the collaboration among the district administration, academia and the businessmen, saying it is a time step that will help ensure traffic management and early lane marking on all main roads in and around Sialkot city. On the occasion, the exporters pointed out that there has been no driving school in Sialkot and announced their support for setting up an international standard driving school in collaboration with the traffic police in the city.

In his address former SCCI president Eng Khawar Anwar Khawaja said that there is a dire need of “traffic engineering” in Sialkot and establishment of “No Parking and No Standing Zones” on all thoroughfares in the city. He said that these zones would help ensure smooth flow of traffic.

“Traffic engineering is direly needed in Sialkot to control traffic mess”, he emphasised. Addressing the participants, Khurram Aslam, chairman Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PSGMEA) demanded “One Way Traffic System in Sialkot city.

Several leading exporters said that most of the congested areas and roads have been encroached upon by influential persons who have set up motorcycle rickshaws stands which always resulted in traffic jams.

They added that the auto-rickshaws are also smoke emitting and causing environmental pollution. They stressed that traffic police should pay heed to regulating chocked traffic on all main roads.

Unlawfully, parking of dozens of students’ vans alongside Kutchery Road, Paris Road and railway Road in Sialkot, in the morning and at noon caused hour-long traffic jams in city, they regretted.

DSP (Traffic) Malik Naveed Ahmed informed the participants that the traffic police has faced with shortage of personnel, saying that there is only 139 traffic policemen available for a population of 4.2 million population and covering an area of 3,016 (sq KM) in the district. He said that the 139 traffic cops perform duty in two shifts.

He said that most of commercial buildings in the city lack parking lots due to which wrong parking by visitors on roads and bazaars often results in traffic jams.

Under the Traffic Week being observed, the Sialkot Municipal Corporation, traffic police, businessmen, all trade bodies, all commercial banks, factories, all the government and private schools and colleges have put on display banners, inscribed with messages on importance of traffic management across the city.