Perennial traffic congestion


Of late, traffic congestion, which is commonplace in Peshawar, has been taking its toll on the mental and physical health of the people, who are increasingly falling prey to stress, which directly springs from the chaos observed on the roads of the provincial metropolis.
Although the installation of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s signature project of Bus Rapid Transit has resolved the chaos for commuters, not motorists, on the main artery of Peshawar, other roads crisscrossing the city present extreme disorder, a byproduct of road rage, which at times result in scuffles, as the traffic police seem to be unable to resolve the logjam issue.
Taking of the citizens’ growing problems arising from traffic congestion, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed the quarters concerned to adopt appropriate measures to ease the traffic chaos. While chairing a meeting on the good governance strategy of the province, the chief executive called upon the traffic police chief to chalk out a feasible plan for controlling traffic congestion in all major cities of the province, especially in Peshawar.
The perennial problem has been aggravated in recent days by the Increasing number of vehicles and ill-planned urban development, which have become the major sources of environmental pollution in the Peshawar city. The situation has been turning the people more aggressive as the traffic jams have become unbearable even on normal days.
On the one hand, the BRT service has decreased the problem to a great extent along its main corridor, but on the other hand the city roads speak of the haphazard urban development, which has substantially contributed to the traffic congestion and blew the problem out of proportion. The problem has been worsened by auto-rickshaws and motorcycles as a majority of two-wheelers and tri-wheelers have been plying the city roads without valid documents.
As the public transport is not sufficient to cater to the needs of the citizens, the authorities need to adopt a citizen centric and inclusive approach to resolve the issue.
The provincial government and concerned quarters need to learn from experiences of other cities of developed metropolitans and instead of investing more in public transport they should utilize its capital on expansion of city formulating some static strategy.
Increasing population and migration from rural to urban areas is the main cause behind the problem of traffic congestion.
In Peshawar, multi-lane parking on Charsadda road, Dalazak road, Bacha Khan Chwak, Ashraf road and other several links roads in inner-city while encroachments in the area mainly by roadside in Khyber Bazar do not let the commuters to have their daily routine done with ease.
As the provincial government has finally woken up to the most pestering issue of the people, a well-devised plan would throw up pragmatic solutions to resolve the traffic problems and relieve the people of the growing mental stress.