In an official letter, Asif Aijaz Shaikh Deputy Inspector General of Karachi Police has asked for the revision of the traffic violation penalties. In his letter written to the Inspector General of Police, Asif requested to move the new suggested fines to the Government of Sindh which according to him will “go a long way to reduce road fatalities and traffic violations as well.”
This document suggests very hefty penalties on the traffic violators for instance Rs. 2000 fine for violating a traffic signal or Rs. 2000 for plying where prohibited etc. This document raises a question, whether threatening the people with a big fine will have a “deterrent effect upon the violator”?
Karachi, the trade hub of Pakistan and also known as the city of lights has been expanding without any formal infrastructure to support it. Whether it be roads or a traffic management system, you name it, Karachi’s ain’t got it. The police want to slam people with a big challan fee but can they justify this increase without providing any traffic infrastructure?
For years the Karachi absence has lacked effective traffic management system. There are no effective steps taken by the government as well as the city police to teach people about the traffic laws and rules.
Punjab government last month announced that they will include Traffic Safety Education in primary school education, no such initiative that can teach people about the traffic laws and road safety could be seen in Karachi or even in the entire province.
There is hardly any money spent in bettering the traffic infrastructure in Karachi. People have been using the damaged public transport for years and also the ownership of private vehicles has also seen an increase due to the worse condition of the buses.
The last time the city got a boost in its infrastructure was when President Musharraf gifted the Rs 29 billion development package. But soon that also turned out a major problem for the citizens as the projects were less than satisfactory and presented a perfect example of “how not to spend the development funds.”
In the fiscal year of 2016-17, Sindh government allocated Rs 10 billion for various major infrastructure projects of Karachi. Murad Ali Shah, then Sindh Finance Minister said that this money would be used for 17 major infrastructure projects of Karachi in the budget 2016-17. It should be noted here that many of these projects also got funds allocated in the previous budgets as well.
Karachi Police, also famous for collecting huge chunks of money through bribery, on a number of cases have been caught red handed on the roads of the city shamelessly demanding money from people.
This trend of corruption has been going on for years as in October 2015 the Geo News reported that around 842 officials of Sindh Police were involved in corruption. With dishonesty embedded so deep in the Karachi Police, the increase in Challan fees can only result in them asking more money from the people. An ordinary citizen would prefer to give Rs. 1000 to an officer than losing Rs. 2000 after a challan.