LAHORE -  The transport enforcement officers of LTC have been stopped for issuing fine tickets to vehicles after protest of the City Traffic Police at higher level, sources told The Nation yesterday.

The move, at one end brought relief to especially thousands of rickshaw owners who were at the ‘hit list’ of the Lahore Transport Company in issuing tickets, and at the other end it deprived the company from a major source of revenue.

LTC, which regulates urban transport across the city, had recruited 175 enforcement inspectors to ensure “better traffic management” in Lahore. But, soon after the recruitments, the sole target of the LTC officers was collecting revenue for their company by issuing challans to vehicles.

The poor rickshaw owners were at especially at the ‘hit list’ of the LTC officers for whom the company collected more than a million rupees per month. The traffic wardens, on the other side, also issue tickets to all kind of vehicles including rickshaws for traffic rules’ violation.

The rickshaw owners repeatedly demanded that the LTC staff should stop issuing violation tickets to them. The rickshaw drivers’ associations also held repeated protests against the overlapping powers of LTC and the traffic police and demanded that a single authority should issue the tickets.

On the other hand, the traffic police officials also made repeated complaints at higher level for stopping the LTC staff to issue the tickets. “They (LTC enforcement officers) do nothing to manage traffic in Lahore but only collect revenue for their company. It cannot be justified,” said a traffic officer while seeking anonymity. It is yet unclear whether the LTC enforcement staff is permanently stopped for issuing tickets or the decision has been taken on temporary basis.

“We are feeling a sigh of relief for more than a week. We were issued tickets from Rs200 to Rs500 on daily basis by the LTC and on the other side we get tickets from traffic wardens. In that condition, it was impossible for a rickshaw driver to meet both ends of his family,” Muhammad Aslam, a rickshaw driver, told The Nation.

Rickshaw Union President Majeed Ghauri said that they had been protesting for years for withdrawal of LTC’s power to issue tickets. He said that LTC should not have the power as this was the subject of the traffic police. “We will block the roads if LTC again starts issuing tickets,” he said.