2284 motorists fined over wrong parking

ISLAMABAD:Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) has so far issued fine tickets to around 2,284 motorists this year for parking their vehicles at wrong places in the federal capital.

The authority also impounded some vehicles to relevant police stations, creating problems in smooth flow of traffic during the same period, said an official in ITP.

Talking to APP, he said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) traffic, Farrukh Rashid has directed all zonal DSPs to ensure implementation on traffic laws while demonstrating courteous attitude towards citizens.

The personnel on duty were strictly asked to adopt policy of `Phele Salam- Phir Kalam’ and sensitized the motorists about traffic laws in a professional manner.

The SSP, he said was constantly monitoring the progress of cops, following directions of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad, Qazi Jamil ul Rehman to ensure smooth flow of traffic in the city.

SSP appealed the drivers to park their vehicles at designated places instead of occupying footpaths as it was the right of pedestrians to use pathways.

ITP education wing was creating awareness among motorists on wrong parking at various commercial centre and business places.

He, however admitted that lack of parking spaces and significant increase in the number of vehicles during the past few years has contributed alot in traffic problems in the federal capital.

Meanwhile, capital dwellers called for building parking plazas, especially in the city’s commercial centres where the worst traffic congestion could be seen on a daily basis.

They said that shortage of space in the commercial areas was the major reason for traffic congestion, adding that they are often left with no other option but to park their vehicles on the roads and linking streets which only adds to the parking and traffic congestion in the city.

The citizens expressed dismay over the illegal use of green belts as parking places, both by the commercial and non-commercial entities of the city since it creates environmental issues.

“The capital’s initial Master Plan has either been violated or has been amended since commercial areas are increasing without allocating sufficient space for car parks, which compromises the beauty of the city, once declared among the most beautiful cities of the world,” said Babar Saleem, a social activist.

Arsalan, a resident of Sector F-7 stressed the need to sensitise the public to abide by traffic rules and regulations to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

He pointed to the multi-storey parking plazas which have been built in some cities of Punjab, as a possible solution to the capital’s parking issue.

Farwa Hassan, a working woman, criticized the federal capital’s civic and traffic authorities for failing to build sufficient parking sports.

“Commercial areas have been extended in the city without allocating land for car parks and ignoring the fact that the number of vehicles plying on the city’s roads are going up every day, ” she noted.

When contacted Capital Development Authority (CDA) officials blamed shop owners, who he claimed had illegally encroached on parking spaces in the commercial areas of the city, for the parking problems.

Citizens should be sensitized about the traffic management system and handsome parking fee should be imposed for revenue generation that will eventually help for constructing new parking plazas, they suggested.

Meanwhile, the federal civic agency has decided to build six multi-storey parking plazas in major business centres of the city, three in Blue Area, one in F-8 and two in F-10 Markaz.

The commencement of construction was planned in June-July this year. It would have a parking capacity of about 3,500 vehicles, said CDA spokesman.

Talking to APP, he said the authority would generate cost requisites from two floors of Blue Area and construct rest. Rooftop gardens and park have also been planned to suit the environment

According to an official in ITP around 350,000 vehicles enter and leave Islamabad every day, while an equivalent number are owned by the capital’s residents.

The growth rate of vehicle ownership in Islamabad is much higher than the national growth rate.