KARACHI - Inspector General of Police Sindh Shahid Nadeem Baloch has said that availability of computerised crime and criminal data is a must for police to fight crime and in this regard crime record office, fingerprint bureau and forensic division Sindh police should join hands to develop a comprehensive and credible data.

Addressing a meeting at Central Police Office, he asked that the targeted actions against criminals in crime-infested areas should be spurred.

 He said permanent police pickets should be erected there along with additional deployment of cops. He said on the entry and exit points of Karachi proper security and checking measures should be taken including proper system of picketing and checking.

He said plainclothes should be posted at bus stands, railway stations, airports and other sensitive buildings and installations. He said in the market and industrial areas community policing should be promoted with cooperation of business community so as to improve the law and order situation.

He said all DIGs should give the task of developing community policing to the SSPs of their areas. He said in the regards committee comprising civil society members should be formed and a detailed report in this regard sent to him.

On the other hand, Karachi police is very effective, discipline, law-knowing and bent to uphold of rules when it finds a biker breaking traffic light or violating other traffic regulation, but it through all laws and rules behind the back when it confronts private public transporters of the city, who enjoy virtual immunity against all rules and regulation.

The meekness of the traffic police against private public transporters is evened from the fact that it has failed to remove the roof-racks of minibuses and coaches despite the instructions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Five months back, in November last year, the apex court had taken notice of serious violations of laws by public transport runners and instructed to remove the roof-racks of minibuses in Karachi. However, the police have still failed to take any action in this regard.

However, the same police is all determined to uphold the law on the issue of substandard number-plates of motorcycles and warned that if the bikers failed to abide by the law they would be considered as aides of terrorists and criminals.

Karachi is the worst mega city of world in the sector of road-based public transport. In this city transporters who are willing to pay enough bribe, could run a junkyard-class vehicle on road without any regard to engine fitness.

This is why that buses of World War-II era, with broken rusty bodies, smoke emitting engines, head, hinds lights and indicators not in working order, and sometimes even without valid number plate or documents are seen freely plying on the city street. The driving licenses, route permits and fitness certificates are majority of these vehicles are questionable but the traffic police turn the blind eyes towards these grave violations of traffic rules.

In Karachi, the public transporters do not follow public-transport colour code, their drivers and conductors do not wear any uniform and they do not issue tickets to passengers after getting fare from them. These buses do not follow the rule of stopping at designated bus stops and stop anywhere on busy road if a passenger signals them to stop.

These minibuses install roof-racks so that passengers could also travel on their rooftops, risking their lives and limbs. The government has issued route permits and higher fare slab to coaches on the condition that would run on seat-to-seat rules and do not allow any passenger travel in them if vacant seat is not available.

However, for last two decades these coaches on plying with their passengers not only standing on footboards but also sitting on their roofs, but the police innocently forgets all rules and regulations in their case, because the owners of these buses know that violating all rules are okay for Karachi police provided one follows the golden rule to grease their palms.

To hide their spectacular failure in taming mighty public transporters, the Karachi police has turned their attention to meek class of motorcyclists and ordered them to strictly abide by the traffic rules and ensure that their number-plates of genuine otherwise after 15 days strict action would be taken against them.

The baffled bikers wonder why the police have yet to dare to issue such a strict warning to public transporters who flout all the rules and regulations.

In Karachi hundreds of thousands of people use bikes, but millions use minibuses to commute. While it is good to see the city bikers with their papers update and their number-plates genuine, it would be pity if the police continue to take no action against the gross flouting of rules and laws by public transport buses.

The citizens have demanded to immediately remove roof-racks from buses, minibuses and coaches as per the instructions of the Supreme Court. Moreover, no bus, minibus or coach be allowed on road if it is not painted as per public transport colour code: red for buses and yellow and white for minibuses and coaches.  The drivers and conductors of public transport not wearing uniform and not issuing tickets to passengers should be taken to the task. The illegal bus terminals on roads and streets should be removed and transporters compelled to stop their vehicles only at the designated bus stops.

It is high time that the Inspector General of Police Shahid Nadeem Baloch who seems committed to ensure uphold of law should give a serious attention to chaotic and law-breaking public transport sector of Karachi, which is a tarnish on a soft and civic image of the city.

Meanwhile, the IGP ordered transfer and posting of Station House Officers of 14 police stations in the metropolis. A notification said that the SHOs of 14 police stations including Clifton, Darakhshan, Kharadar, Eidgah, Zaman Town, Sharifabad and Alfalah have been changed.