A regulated road traffic reflects a nation’s self-discipline

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By Naveel Ahmed

ISLAMABAD, Jan 18 (APP):A glimpse of a regulated road traffic is enough to ascertain a nation’s self-discipline that flows
smooth like a country’s unhindered progress.
World over, the developed countries have embraced scientific road management to
address growing traffic challenges. However, with Islamabad as a mirror to the entire
country’s traffic management system, the reflection is not that good.
The city is braving several challenges mainly the absence of innovative methods to tackle
chronic traffic congestion, poor road infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted mobility
of plying vehicles.
Three key stakeholders- Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP), Capital Development Authority
(CDA) and public- which play crucial role in ensuring hassle and risk free traffic movement in
Islamabad owe their own complex sets of reasons resulting into traffic system’s
catastrophic failure.
The ITP, an efficient force established in 2005 to ensure regulated movement of vehicles
on city’s thoroughfares, requires a revamp as it is currently operating with 628 officials, less
instruments to cope emergency situation and minimal challenging amount,” said a top official of ITP.
Highlighting the ITP’s issues, the official said, his staff works 14 hours to deal with huge
traffic influx on main arteries surged by 700 times during the last decade, traffic jams during
peak hours, markets’ blockades due to illegal parking and VIP movements.
He underlined the need for enhancing challan amount as deterrence against violators
proved effective to bring behavioural changes in them.
“We can issue only Rs 500 against major violation”, he regretted.
He also urged upon CDA to install traffic related road furniture as enforcement necessitates
road signs, warning boards, zebra crossing and updated lane marking.
CDA was supposed to facilitate the ITP regarding every help sought ranging from
upgradation of the capital’s road infrastructure including construction of roads, underpasses,
overhead bridges, signal free facilities to installation of road furniture.
The “Future Planned Projects” placed on the list of development schemes for the city
in January 2017 pertaining to road infrastructure could not be materialized due to bureaucratic
snags and technical issues.
Overpasses on Nazim-ud-Din Road and Fazal-e-Haq Road over Faisal Avenue (700m);
underpass at the Shakarparian Intersection on Islamabad Highway; interchange at intersection
of 9th Avenue and Jinnah Avenue; interchange at I.J.P Road and 9th Avenue; interchange at Koral Chowk on Islamabad Express way and others.
CDA, when contacted by APP for stalled projects, it had own reasons. According to it,the
shortage of funds and bureaucratic snags were the main impediment behind stalled project.
Last but not the least, public who always appears in haste while commuting on roads, mostly seems violating the traffic rules and regulations with impunity.
A commuter Sajjad Abbasi suggested that a violator must be fined heavily . He floated the suggestion to follow Punjab government’s footsteps which takes lead in taking such effective
measures.
He urged the ITP to tighten noose around lane violators by introducing strict penalty
against such law breakers.
Traffic rules and regulations should be made mandatory like education curriculum.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) National Highways and Motorways Police, Ashfaq
Ahmad urged the CDA to build overhead bridges and underpasses in the federal capital
as these prevent deadly accidents.
Proposing the practical measures to place the capital’s messy traffic congestion,
he said it could be managed by the authorities concerned by adopting scientifically approved
guidelines.
He said the authorities concerned should totally prohibit buses terminals’ functioning in
the city’s areas and only allow them to operate near the long intra-cities belts
(Grand Trunk Road, Motorways and Highways) by diverting Heavy Traffic Vehicles from
the city’s central area.
He emphasized the need to promote public-friendly local transports within the city.
Sharing an example being practiced in the central London to compel daily commuters to use
public mobility mode, he suggested to impose heavy taxes on entry of personal vehicles at
their arrival to the federal capital to tap their flow within the city.
The depicted picture of the federal capital’s unruly traffic system is in dire need of a
complete overhaul and signals warning to bring revolutionary changes otherwise the capital’s
dwellers continue to suffer from daily traffic clogs whether commuting to college, offices, school
and other destinations.