Illegal bus terminals escalate traffic jams in city

Karachi: No action is in sight against more than 200 illegal bus terminals operating in different residential areas of Karachi, causing frequent traffic jams, and alarming air and noise pollution in the city.

Karachi is a unique mega urban city of the world, which has no tangible infrastructure for public transport sector. The city is not only deprived of metro rail and bus services but even it lack proper bus terminals.

During the last era of city government rule three main bus terminals were planned at Superhighway, National Highway and Yusuf Goth, RCD Road; however, saving the Yusuf Goth terminus the other projects are still on paper despite passing of many years.

The private transporters plying buses and coaches from Karachi to different upcountry destinations have illegally occupied roads and footpaths at Suhrab Goth, Cantt Station, Saddar, Liaquatabad, Lea Market, Landhi, Gulshan-e-Hadeed and dozens of other busy residential areas of the city.

These illegal bus terminals are not only creating massive traffic jams in the city, but also increased noise and smoke pollution in the residential areas. In many areas like Saddar and M A Jinnah Road, these illegal bus stands are situated near education institutes including girls’ schools and colleges, creating nuisance for female students and teachers; however, the police and administrative officers despite knowing the problems created by these illegal bus stands for area residents, provide overt and covert support to these lawbreakers against heavy bribery. Though the citizen rights groups, media and environmental protections organizations have been raising the issue of 200plus illegal bus terminals of Karachi, but the administration is not ready to take action to facilitate the citizens.

During any hour of the day hundreds of buses and coaches could be seen parked illegally on roads and footpaths, openly violating the rules and laws, but no action is taken against them. This malpractice could be easily noticed at the illegal bus terminals of Suhrab Goth, Saddar, Lea Market, Landhi and other areas. If an ordinary citizens illegally parks his car on road or pavement the traffic police would swiftly toe it away to receive the fine or bribe or both, but these traffic cops dare not take any action against illegal bus terminals where hundreds of vehicles are parked violating all traffic and civic laws.

The citizens have demanded of the administration of Karachi to take notice of this big civic nuisance and immediately remove all illegal intra-city bus terminals from the limits of the residential areas. The lingering projects of setting up intra-city bus terminals at Superhighway and National Highway should also be started and completed on fast track basis, so as to give Karachi a look of a law abiding city with civic sense.