SIALKOT-Controlling traffic has become an uphill job for the traffic police which are understaffed and also lack required facilities for the purpose.

The traffic police have shown its inability to control the situation under the prevailing circumstances. The Markazi Anjuman Tajraan expressed grave concern over the routine traffic jams in Sialkot city’s almost commercial and business areas including Allama Iqbal Chowk, Mujahid Road Chowk, Railway Road, Lehaai Bazaar, Gandum Mandi, Chowk Dara Aaraaiyaan, Chowk Shaheedaan, Masjid Do Darwaaza Road, Bank Road, Paris Road, Kutchery Road, Gulistan Chowk , Naikapura, Hajipura , Church Road and Khadim Ali Road.

It said that the traffic jams are aggravating day by day due to which the traders were much perturbed. Addressing a meeting of the Governing Body of Markazi Anjuman Tajraan, its President Haji Ghulam Mujtaba and Secretary General Ehsanul Haq Butt said that hours-long traffic jams in these commercial and business areas badly hamper the pace of trade activities.

They said that the people were also facing great difficulties while passing through these areas. As the perturbed traders and people have allegedly been left at the mercy of the worst traffic jams in Sialkot by the traffic police, they added.

They said that these areas were illegally occupied by some influential people who had established motorcycle rickshaws stands in these areas on the roads, where the long queues of vehicles could be seen.

They added that the smoke-emitting rickshaws were also causing environmental pollution. They also expressed dismay and grave concern over the alleged poor performance of the Sialkot traffic police in Sialkot. They said that the Sialkot traffic police have miserably failed to control the traffic.

They added that they had repeatedly brought the nasty situation into the notice of the officials of the traffic police but to no avail. On the other hand, some traffic police officials said that the rising traffic rules’ violations cannot be controlled due to the very short number of police personnel.

Most of vehicles including trucks, public transport vehicles plying on different roads of the area are mechanically and technically faulty, causing road accidents and spreading pollution, they added.

They said motor vehicles examiners and relevant agencies have issued fitness certificate to them. It is very alarming that defective vehicles were being passed and issue fitness certificates increasing in environment pollution in Sialkot region, the traffic policemen added.

In Sialkot city, the traffic on congested and busy Kutchery Road is often chaotic during school hours, exposing the traffic police’s inefficiency. The road where a large number of government and private educational institutions are located, witnesses traffic snarls when hundreds of students use it in the morning to attend their classes or at noon to return back home.

Talking to the newsmen, students, teachers and general public said that traffic cops paid no heed to regulating the choked traffic on the road. They called for better planning by traffic police to attend to the problem. The parking of dozens of student vans alongside the Kutchery Road, Paris Road and railway Road in the morning and at noon causes hours-long traffic jams.

DSP (Traffic) Malik Naveed Ahmed has said that Sialkot traffic police suffered great shortage of personnel. He added that there were only 139 traffic police personnel in Sialkot for 4.2 million population and controlling the big area of 3,016 square kilometer in Sialkot district.

He said that 139 personnel were performing duties in double shifts in various parts of the city. He added that most of the commercial buildings in Sialkot city have no parking lots due to which the wrong parking of the vehicles by the visitors on roads, bazaars often result in the traffic jams.

The DSP added that 628,320 vehicles were registered at Motor Transport Authority and 400,000 others were registered at the other districts. He said that Sialkot has 8,000 different small and big sized factories, 5,601 schools, colleges and universities, 25 main hospitals, one airport and two dry ports. He said that the movement of the vehicles in and out of these factories and institutions often caused traffic jams.

He added that 31,038 vehicles pass through the city’s congested Sublime Chowk, 31,358 vehicles enter Sialkot city from Daska side, 41,979 vehicles come from Govt Sardar Begum Memorial Teaching Hospital and 15,667 vehicles enter Sialkot from Adalatgarha side daily.

He said that the Sialkot traffic police fined Rs5.5 million for violations of rules and got registered 431 separate cases. It suspended 234 driving licences, impounded 19,700 different vehicles, arrested 488 drivers and took stern legal action against 26,375 underage drivers.