Rawalpindi - The law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) have seemingly failed to manage traffic rush and vendors in front of several private and public schools when school time gets over.

This slackness on part of LEAs is posing security threat to the students, teachers and other road users who are stuck in gigantic traffic jam on the roads leading to schools or passing by the educational institutions.

However, city traffic police claimed that all the available resources are being utilized to avoid any type of mess in front of educational institutions at school closing time but the teachers’ unions say the LEAs have provided foolproof security to schools but only on papers while ground realities are different.

According to a survey conducted by The Nation in last seven days, huge traffic rush was witnessed outside educational institutions located on GT Road at DHA-I and DHA-II, Behrian Town Stop, near Soan Bridge, Katcheri Chowk, Panj Sakri Road, Punjab House Road, Peshawar Road, Dhamial Road, Harley Street, Dhoke Syedan, Adyala Road, Lal Kurti, Dheri Hassanabad, 6th Road, Iran Road, Kuri Road, Commercial Market, Pirwadhai, Asghar Mall Scheme, Bandh Khana Road, Muslim Town, Shakrial and many other localities. Similarly, the brigades of vendors and hand-push cart owners were also selling their edibles near the school gates.

A very thin presence of police/patrolling mobile vans or officials of other LEAs was witnessed outside the schools, colleges and universities which was a sheer contrast to a comprehensive security plan hatched by Rawalpindi police.

According to a press release issued by police spokesman on January 20, 2015, the police following the instructions of CPO have distributed the district in seven clusters. Sharing the security plan with media, the spokesman had said that besides police, Elite Force commandoes and personnel of Quick Response Force (QRF), Special Branch and Muhafiz Squad would patrol and perform security duty around the educational institutions in the morning and at off time.

Moreover, well-equipped and trained officials would also be deployed at two points in each cluster to tackle the untoward incident, he said. He added that the baggers and hand-push cart owners would not be allowed to stay near the educational institutions. All the SHOs would patrol their areas concerned, besides briefing their subordinates performing security duties and the SPs and SDPOs would monitor the situation during school timings. Unfortunately, the LEAs have seemingly failed in imposing the security plan in its true letter and spirit in the district.

SSP/CTO Shoaib Khurram Janbaz, when contacted on Tuesday, said wrong parking near the schools causes traffic mess. He said that CTP have launched awareness campaign by displaying banners and distributing pamphlets to bar parents and pick & drop service providers from parking their vehicles near the schools. “The parents should park their vehicles away from school and should go by foot to receive their children. I don’t think it is a difficult job for parents,” he said while requesting people to obey traffic rules for their own as well as other road users’ safety.

Acting City Police Officer (CPO) Haroon Joya, when approached, said that police are fully prepared to protect schools from any terror attack in the district. He said that the Quick Response Force (QRF) was guarding the school located in sensitive areas while all the DSPs and SHOs were also patrolling outside the educational institutions in morning and at closing time. A grand operation would be launched against vendors to maintain law and order, the CPO said.

He informed that district education department and police have joined hands with a cellular company by developing a system to cope with any emergency situation. “The provincial government has inked an agreement with cellular company Ufone which will issue special SIMs having numbers of all emergency departments to the heads of educational institutions, stations house officers, DSPs, SPs and police stations,” he said. He said that that upon dialling number *55# in case of any emergency, a message and an SOS call would be sent to the concerned authority that would come in action swiftly.

On the other hand, Raja Nasarullah, president of Punjab Teachers Union, and Headmasters Association Rawalpindi President Dr Sagheer Alam while taking to this scribe claimed that LEAs have badly failed in protecting the schools and the unarmed teachers themselves doing the security job.

They said that police have provided security to schools but only on papers. They alleged that cops often remain absent from security duties while no patrolling was performed by any SHO.