Increasing number of vehicles causes traffic woes
By Iqbal Choudhry
LAHORE A yearly increase of 10 percent in the number of vehicles plying the roads in the city has added to the woes of resident Lahore.
According to the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department, more than one million motor vehicles move around in the city every day.
The department registered 1,000,812 vehicles in 2003, 899,907 in 2002, 891,695 in 2001, 790,790 in 2000, 757,746 in 1999 and 721319 vehicles in 1998.
“Lahore will witness a 10 percent increase in the number of vehicles every year,” said a source, adding: “An upward revision of this claim is expected if the government does not come up with innovative ideas.”
Muhammad Ali, a resident of the city, says he avoids driving at The Mall Road, the Main Boulevard and the Circular Road due to traffic congestion in these areas.
Naveed Ahmed claims that he leaves his place early in the morning to stay away from traffic jams. “Driving in the city has almost become the dread of my life,” he says. “The government needs to take appropriate measures to eradicate the situation, manage the flow of the traffic and make the roads safer for everyone.”
Talking to Daily Times, District Naib Nazim Farooq Amjad Mir recognised that traffic congestion was becoming an acute problem.
He said the government was constructing two underpasses along the Canal Road to fix the situation.
“Our district government is aware of traffic problems and plans to do everything to the help of public,” said Mr Mir.
It may be recalled, however, that former inspector general of police, Syed Salman Khaliq, recently criticised the construction of so many underpasses in the city, adding they should have been towards the right-hand side of the road for free flow of traffic in the fastest lane.
However, Deputy Superintendent of Traffic Police Hammad Raza says things may get better if people start abiding by the traffic rules and drive in their respective lanes.
He told Daily Times that traffic police, in collaboration with non-government organisation, had held seminars to educate people.
Mr Raza said the government should issue drivers’ permits after specifying a minimum level of education.