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Murad orders new traffic management plan to end snarls-up

Murad orders new traffic management plan to end snarls-up

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday stressed the need for a new traffic planning and management scheme since snarls-up and poor vehicular flow on city’s key streets during rush hours had become a regular feature.

“A new arrangement to manage traffic in the crowded neighbourhoods like Saddar, Metropole, Clifton and I.I. Chundrigar Road is the need of the hour. This is why this meeting has been convened to work out a plan to adopt a new traffic management methodology to avoid continued snarl-ups and inconvenience to the public,” said CM Shah while presiding over a meeting at CM House to discuss traffic mess in the metropolis.

Local Government Minister Nasir Shah, CM’s Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab and senior officials attended the meeting.

Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani gave a presentation to the chief minister in which various options, including one-way, removal of signals and installation of new signals were suggested.

CM Shah said only declaring one-way on Club Road was not enough.

An agreement to turn Nehr-i-Khayyam into a recreational space signed

“We will have to adopt a holistic approach by removing traffic congestions and jams from the areas right from Chundrigar Road to Shaheen Complex, Shaheen Complex to Fountain Chowk, further to Metropole and Sharea Faisal onwards including Clifton and at Avari Towers,” he added.

“Why traffic from Shaheen Complex to Avari via Fountain Chowk and Saddar towards Avari has been allowed to create mayhem at Avari and Metropole hotel? Why certain traffic in Saddar could not be diverted towards the Army Selection Centre towards Sharea Faisal from Regent Plaza area? Why traffic coming from Fountain Chowk is not allowed to go directly towards Clifton without moving around Metropole,” he asked.

The meeting decided that the commissioner, Karachi police chief, DIG Traffic and project director of Karachi Package Khalid Masroor and engineering bureau chief would visit the areas in question and assess the flow of traffic and study the streets that could offer a single direction for drivers.

Mr Shah gave three months to the team to work out a feasible plan of traffic management and implement it in June when schools go on summer vacation.

Hopes PM will appoint new IGP

The CM said on the advice of the prime minister he had sent a panel of five officers to Islamabad to post one of them as the new inspector general of police in Sindh “yet the matter is hanging in the balance”.

“However, I am sure the PM will appoint one of them as new IGP in the larger interest of the law and order of the province,” he said while speaking to media after presiding over the National Women’s Day organised by the Sindh Commission on the Status of Women.

Mr Shah said he had not sent those names on his own, but “it was done on the advice of the prime minister who had asked me to send him a panel of three officers and then again the PM secretariat asked for another two names which were also sent accordingly”.

He believed the PM would soon accord approval for the new IGP from that panel.

The chief minister said removal of the IGP was not his personal decision but the cabinet had approved it unanimously. “Now, the federal government should honour the provincial cabinet and get its demand implemented.”

He said the cabinet had decided that no katcha house would be bulldozed during the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in the city.

“The Supreme Court has also been requested to give time to the provincial government so that makeshift arrangements for the affected people could be made across Sindh,” he said.

Agreement inked for Nehr-i-Khayyam Park

An agreement was signed between the Sindh government and a non-profit, People and Nature Initiative (Pani), at the CM House to turn Nehr-i-Khayyam into a park.

The ceremony was attended by CM Shah, Local Government Minister Nasir Shah, Mr Wahab, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, Architect Hamir Soomro, Pani president Shahid Abdullah, Jamil Yusuf and senior officers.

Pani proposes to clean the sewage flowing into the Nehr through the indigenous, sustainable ‘reed bed’ technology, which has been successfully employed in several global locations as well as in Karachi.

On both sides of the one-km-long Nehr, Pani proposes to plant hundreds of trees and bushes and create jogging tracks and viewing decks, accessible to public as a recreational facility.

The chief minister said the Nehr-i-Khayyam Park would be a game changer for Karachi being a beautiful recreational space.

He said his government had allowed the development of the park as an environment-friendly facility for the public.

A plantation ceremony will take place on Feb 16 to kick off the project that will be inaugurated by Mr Shah.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2020

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