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Unified body for road, traffic engineering envisaged

Unified body for road, traffic engineering envisaged

LAHORE: There is a plan to establish a provincial body under which all departments concerned will jointly plan management or engineering of roads and traffic, having district level facilitation centres to enforce its decisions and help people through the DCO offices.

The plan has been made by the Law and Order wing of the Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit (SMU). It has been approved by the chief minister and authorities concerned are presently giving final touches to the concept.

At present, eight government departments are separately handling management, engineering of roads and traffic laws enforcement. But an efficient management is impeded due to bureaucratic hurdles and lack of effective coordination.

In addition, there is no mechanism to facilitate the quick approval and implementation of traffic and road management plans by the government as different departments hold stakes which come into play at various levels of projects’ implementation.

Officials say the new body will help rid the province of these bureaucratic hurdles and post project issues that have been marring the traffic-related development in Punjab. The plan envisages a comprehensive ‘one stop’ unified body for efficient management of roads and traffic in the province.

The decision to have district level facilitation centres was taken during a recent meeting presided over by the chief secretary and attended by the SMU’s senior member, secretaries of home and excise departments, inspector general of police (IGP) and others concerned.

Officials say that at the provincial level, this body will set policy guidelines for the new projects’ approval process for all roads and traffic related interventions. The departments responsible for policy making at this level include transport, home, excise and taxation, police and communications. Representatives of these departments will be fully authorised to make decisions. The policy guidelines set by these departments will be implemented by the district level facilitation centres to be established under the district coordination officers.

This body will be autonomous and consist of numerous wings, including laws and regulation, road accident information system, infrastructure, road users, vehicles, post accident, research and development, finance and administration. These wings will be managed by professionals having relevant experience.

At the district level, all the public dealing functions will be performed under one roof, having representatives of the DCO, traffic police, transport, excise and taxation and Parks and Horticulture Authority (where it exists) in order to help people at every level of their interaction with the government and to ensure that all projects are implemented concertedly by the departments concerned.

These functions will include traffic challaning, fine collection, education of drivers and issuance of driving licenses, fitness and insurance certification, route permit issuance and renewals, motor vehicle registration etc. These facilitation centres will also cover highways as well, saving people from the hassle of visiting different departments to have their problems resolved.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2015

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