ISLAMABAD-Pushing for corrective measures to check traffic violation during night hours, the capital’s dwellers on Thursday stressed to depute more traffic wardens on the major arteries to ensure public safety.

The commuters wondering over non-availability of Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) during late hours said there was a dire need to monitor the movement of heavy vehicles including trucks, passenger buses and official motorcades who dared to ply their vehicles at high speed by ignoring the traffic laws.

A government employee Ubaid Ullah commuting on Islamabad Expressway said that around 70 to 80 per cent of capital’s major crossings remained unmanned and people were left at their own mercy.

Ubaid urged the authorities concerned to use Close-Circuit Television cameras for monitoring and issuing of fine tickets to make people obey rules.

Talking to APP, a top official of the ITP, requesting not to be named, said the ITP when established in 2005 was an exemplary force managing smooth traffic flow in the capital. But with no increase in its strength of 685 to cater to the rising population, its performance had been compromised. He said each traffic warden was supposed to tackle 183 vehicles per day but the ITP’s strength had not been raised despite increase in the number of vehicles . “The traffic flow has now increased by almost seven times in the past 13 years while the staff number has gradually decreased to 628 from 685 owing to retirement of some officials,” he said.

To a question, he said the ITP was currently deputing two inspectors and 28 officials at night time on major arteries of the capital including Islamabad Expressway, Faisal Avenue, 7th Avenue, 9th Avenue, Constitutional Avenue and Attaturk Avenue.

He said more officials were required to be recruited to tackle the shifts.

Usually, an official was performing his duty around 10 hours daily, however, it prolongs to 16 hours in case of an emergency situation.

Out of total staff of the ITP, he said, over 300 officials worked in morning shift, 200 in evening time while remaining were stationed at offices, he added.

VIP duties were utilizing most of the staffers at different points during the day, the official said, and a sizable number of personnel also remained busy in regulating parking issues in the capital’s markets, leaving a small number to manage smooth mobility of over 900,000 registered vehicles on the busy roads.

A traffic sergeant, who was performing duty in Sector G-9, said, “It was a nerve-testing job to ensure smooth flow the traffic. We have to remain on feet all the time irrespective of the harsh weather conditions”. Qasim Ali, another ITP official, said according to the ITP’s standard operating procedures (SOPs), which were introduced in 2005, each traffic official was supposed to perform an eight-hour duty, but at present an inspector had to work for over 15 hours and a constable was meant to remain on duty for more than 8 hours.

Moreover, unscheduled arrangements for VIPs movement usually prolonged their working hours certainly undermining their professional efficiency, he added.

“We have requested the authorities concerned to induct a new batch of at least 100 personnel, especially to deal with the VIPs movements but so far no action has been taken in this regard,” he said.