KARACHI: Prolonged traffic jams in this congested metropolis cost the commuters at least Rs 400 billion annually on account of fuel, reveals a survey conducted by the NED University. This, Professor Dr Mir Shabbar Ali told a workshop, directly or indirectly was affecting the individuals, as per the survey report conducted by NED University.
“Sustainable Urban Transport Policy and Transport/Traffic Management Issues” was organised here at a local hotel by Pakistan Sustainable Transport (PAKSTRAN) Project Sindh in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme. At workshop experts from all walks of life stressed the need for proper implementation of the traffic management policy suggesting that the government should continue it to counter increasing traffic congestion for the larger benefit of business community, commuters and private transporters in the city.
Dr Mir presented before the audience Draft Policy on PAKSTRAN project Sindh, the survey report prepared by NED University’s Department of Urban and Infrastructure, for constructive discussion to get further suggestions on it. He said there was a dire need of rapid bus transit system that could minimise the tension of commuters facing acute shortage of public transport in the metropolis. He suggested that a large number of traffic signals should be installed along 25 major roads including Shara-e-Faisal, MA Jinnah Road, University Road and Tariq Road, for betterment of traffic management in Karachi.
He said illegal encroachments should be removed to get quick relief from traffic congestion on different roads and areas including Sadder, MA Jinnah, Tariq Road, Gulistan-e-Johar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Parking plazas should be constructed in busiest areas of the city. Sindh Building Control Authority should strictly implement its laws for leaving space for parking areas in buildings, he said.
Dr Shabbar, presenting views on draft policy on PAKSTRAN project, said pedestrians, women and disable people should be given top priority in the Rapid Bus Transit which is underway to facilitate Karachiites. He said the population growth in Pakistan was 2.54 percent while the Sindh province is growing too fast in urban population with 2.58 percent. He said RBT project is the need of the hour in Karachi which will be expanded to other urban cities of Sindh including Hyderabad, Badin, Larkana, Nawabshah and Sukkur.
Yar Muhammad said that the transport sector should be declared as an industry in the country so that private investors could invest in it. A federal government official, Malik Khuda Bux, said CNG, as an alternative fuel found within the country, had saved at least $17 billion on account of petrol imports. Haji Rahmullah, a transporters’ representative, called for dedicated mass transit routes in the city and lambasted government officials for making a useless parking plaza in Saddar.