Hadi Iqbal Hussain

Efficient transport system in a city tends to facilitate mobility in a metropolitan city of the size of Lahore with an unplanned spread out and abounding in vehicular traffic, without any discipline. Urban traffic regulation does not command a priority with Lahorites because of the ‘PAINDOO” mentality of villagers where everyone is free to do whatever one likes, walk or drive the bullock cart or the horse drawn carriage where ever one wishes or ease oneself when ever and where one chooses. Life was free of any tension and health was better. We all struggled for a separate homeland so that we could continue with our liberty of “PAIN000” living and profess our freedom on the roads.

CM Punjab has done a remarkable job by widening the roads, with subways and flyovers, but there is a lot, equally urgently needed to complete the task of modernizing the system to make its use efficient in matter of time, cost and occupancy of road .even after getting the most advanced technology Air Craft a fully trained and expert pilot is required to manage it during flight Every flight /day has different features requiring human management to be able to land safely. Despite all the structural improvements in Lahore, we have the poorest urban traffic management system. “Keep to the Left” directive has never been enforced requiring the cars, Motorbike riders /rickshaws to drive on the left .No heavy vehicle should either overtake or even drive in the centre lane. “Keep to the Left” directive is for every vehicle An experienced and knowledgeable management alone can deliver .Some of the notable features are as under.

1. Worst road users are the Police employees ‘driving the Police Trucks, Police officer’s cars and those on VIP duties, who violate the discipline on the roads, but are neither ever checked nor punished, They encourage other car drivers to disregard the traffic laws with impunity and fearlessly. Law should be enforced without any discrimination, to be effective. Some of the notable features are as follows.

2. No police officer can comprehend the real problems militating against the discipline in the system in a chauffeur driven sarkari car. One has to be in his own car, not known to Traffic police staff and drive it himself.

3. No system can work unless the users of roads participate themselves, to discipline and regulate the traffic. Lahorites have to be requested accordingly to join in a big way, and solemnly undertake in an undertaking not to violate any traffic law themselves, which should be pasted on the rear wind screen of the car. Such a declaration must be considered a mark of respect for such a citizen. If any violation of this oath is reported the driver and owner of car should be put to shame in writing and notified through a press release and such sticker withdrawn, after imposing a fine which must be hurting.

4. Such honorable citizens who volunteer to undertake above solemn declaration and contribute in enforcing traffic discipline should he authorized in addition as a reward to report traffic laws violation by other vehicles, on a form{to be provided by the Police Station of the area on nominal payment} with a solemn declaration certifying the correctness of the matter reported. Such form must be available with Traffic Warden on duty at the crossing as well.

5. Every Traffic Police Warden having’ a motor bike should have a hooter and be made supervisor of some area, to ensure that “Keep to the left “directive is followed and Zebra crossing limit is respected-and no vehicle infringes this limit while waiting for light to turn green Besides Warden has to ensure that no heavy vehicle uses the underpass. Extreme right should always be vacant for overtaking.

6.  All Traffic lights should be provided with solar energy, to take over when load shedding takes place, so that no Traffic light is non functional at any time. Lights on crossing having high density of traffic should be electronically calibrated to adjust its permissive aspect according to traffic offering at any time.

7. At some locations, the traffic offering in the main corridor lane moving in opposite direction or to side lanes is always unequal and there is no subway. Such locations include Main Boulevard in Gulberg, Jail Road meeting Gulberg Main Boulevard, Zafar Ali Road, Shadman crossing and many points on Ferozepur Road, Mall Road, and many other locations. Subway has to be provided there to facilitate uninterrupted flow of traffic

8. Urban traffic usually offers in large volumes during peak hours, necessitating arrangements to clear traffic in large lots in shortest possible time, which needs reasonably spacious carriers, able to move out with quick acceleration to facilitate head way of short duration for the next unit to follow. Unshared right of way is a prerequisite. Light rail is the answer for these parameters. It has to be electricity powered traction, which is reliable, efficient having quick acceleration. It is the answer for Lahore, Karachi, and twin cities of Rawalpindi-Islamabad. During rush hours it is operated in multiple unit operation with increased frequency, while during lean period single unit with relaxed frequency would provide the required service at cheapest possible cost It will lead to relief on road where numbers of cars will reduce, because of satisfactory alternate arrangements for commuting.

9. In preparation for above system which will be capital intensive requiring higher quality of managerial and technical expertise. Government should arrange to opt for solar energy by raising funds by floating the proposition and sell its shares and involve private sector on B.O.T. basis. Space above Motor Bus Service should be utilized and power generated be used for running the industry instead of load shedding. Solar energy should continue to expand through private sector participation on terms favorable to consumers and not any industrialist/financer. Theft of power has to be made punishable with capital punishment through speedy system of judicial trial and further provision of power disallowed for at least 5 years after recovery of due revenue for stole electricity.