SIALKOT-Traffic jams here have become order of the day and need uphill struggle by the traffic police department which is already understaffed and lacks even basic facilities.

Sialkot traffic police have shown its inability to control the miserable situation under the unavoidable circumstances.

Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran Sialkot has expressed grave concern over the hours-long 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, Kutchehry Road, Gulistan Chowk , Naikapura, Hajipura, Church Road and Khadim Ali Road. It said that the traffic jams are aggregating day by day in Sialkot city, due to which the local traders were much perturbed.

Addressing a meeting of the Governing Body of Markazi Anjuman Tajraan Sialkot, President Haji Ghulam Mujtaba said that the daily hours-long traffic jams in these commercial and business areas of Sialkot were badly hampering the pace of the trade activities.

He said that the people were also facing great difficulties. The perturbed traders and people have been left at the mercy of the worst traffic jams in Sialkot by the traffic police, they added. He 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 are witnessed most of the time.

He added that the auto-rickshaws emit smoke and cause environmental pollution on a large scale. On the other hand, some traffic police officials said that the worst situation of rising traffic rules’ violations cannot be controlled due to the short number of traffic police personnel.

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

Motor Vehicles Examiners and relevant agencies had issued fitness certificate to such vehicles. It is very alarming that defective vehicles were being passed and issued fitness certificates increasing environment pollution in Sialkot region, the traffic policemen added.

Another issue is to remove the broken down vehicles from the roads. The overloading of the passengers by public transport vehicles goes unchecked. It results in several fatal road accidents. The traffic on congested and busy Kutchehry Road is often chaotic.

Talking to the newsmen, 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. Unlawfully, parking of dozens of vans alongside the Kutchehry Road, Paris Road and railway Road in the morning and at noon caused hours-long traffic jams in the city.

DSP (Traffic) Malik Naveed Ahmed said that traffic police suffered great shortage of traffic police personnel, saying that there were only 139 traffic police personnel in Sialkot for 4.2 million population and controlling the big area of 3016sqiare kilometer in Sialkot district.

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

He said that more than one million vehicles of different kinds - 628,320 registered at motor transport authority and 400,000 others registered at the other districts.

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