LAHORE, June 13: Impressed by traffic discipline on national highways and motorways, the Punjab government has approached the National Highways and Motorways Police (NH&MP) authorities for the operational control of Ring Road’s northern track, if correspondence between the Punjab government and (NH&MP) officials is to be believed.
Currently, the city traffic police operates on a 47km (on one side) stretch on Ring Road which will be around 90km upon its completion.
The 47km patch has a speed limit up to 100km per hour for cars and minibuses and 80km per hour for buses and trucks from Niazi Chowk to the airport, and 70km per hour for cars and minibuses and 50 for buses and trucks from Saggian to Niazi Chowk. The road has three lanes either side, inert-changes, underpasses and pedestrian bridges.Dawn learnt the Lahore Ring Road Authority wrote the NH&MP deputy inspector general (DIG), N-5 central Lahore, on June 4 seeking its services for a comprehensive traffic management system for the operation of traffic on Ring Road.
The letter states: “Since the NH&MP has successfully been managing the traffic management system on national highways and motorways, therefore, it will be appreciated if the services of NH&MP are also extended to Lahore Ring Road.”
In another letter to the Punjab Communications and Works Department (C&WD) on June 8, LRRA Chairperson Jawad Rafique Malik stated: “Since the completion of Ring Road Northern Loop the traffic is increasing day by day and after its linkage with Ferozepur Road, there shall be an immediate jump to increase in traffic.”
The chief minister while travelling on Ring Road a few weeks ago had ordered a traffic management system on the road. The establishment of such a force and arrangement will certainly take sufficient time so it was thought that the NH&MP be
requested to help the Ring Road Authority in establishing such a system.
A meeting was held with the NH&MP DIG on June 5 to discuss the proposal and the DIG agreed to assist the authority.
The source said as an initial arrangement, the DIG asked for manpower, vehicles and weapons.
The authority chairperson stated that instead of new recruitments, the NH&MP deploy the initial staff from their own strength who could establish the required traffic control regime and train the authority’s staff for future requirements.
He requested the department to move a reference with the federal communication secretary to get approval of NH&MP’s deployment on Ring Road through an agreement or a memorandum of understating.
In the third correspondence on June 9, the provincial C&WD referred the authority’s letter to the federal communication secretary for further necessary action as per rules.
In the latest letter on June 12, the NH&MP DIG wrote to the NH&MP inspector general that the proposal needed to be examined.
The development may entail worries for the City Traffic Police (CTP). A CTP official said they had no information about the proposal.
He said seven senior traffic wardens and 219 wardens with four patrolling cars, 21 250cc and 61 125cc motorcycles and a mobile-repairing van had been performing their duty in shifts on Ring Road since December 2010.
The source said though the provincial government deemed the NH&MP a more professional institution, traffic wardens were also competent enough to regulate traffic on the road as their first batch had already got a 15-day training (attachment)
from the officials of NH&MP.
He said the provincial government wanted to remove traffic police from Ring Road and replace it with the NH&MP officials in the first phase and then attach LRRA staff after new recruitments with the NH&MP for training.