Swollen roads of Peshawar witness huge traffic jams

Jamal Safi
The roads of provincial metropolitan are being swollen with vehicles, roads mostly remain jammed.

The traffic jam issue has been growing bigger day by day in Peshawar as the capacity of prevalent roads is six times less than the influx of vehicles.

Pukhtun Nama conduct a survey on the issue and had a word with general public and officials concerned.

One, Danish, student of University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Peshawar, stuck in the traffic jam on university road told FP that he has been suffering the traffic jam for a couple months and always reach late for his classes.

He added that he was almost half and hour late for his classes, in spite of he took different routes to reach here.

One, Muhammad Rasool, taxi driver, told FP that due to congested roads cabs consume double fuel as compared earlier.

The owner of Shahid and Brothers Electronics on university road Peshawar, Umar Gul sitting idle and waiting for the customers, stated that due to traffic worst situation in Peshawar they forced to quit their trades and business.

He added that due to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project the service roads have been devastated adding more severity to traffic jams.

Pukhtun Nama also spoke with Director Roads Peeshawar Development Authority (PDA), Imtiaz Hussain remarked
a committee has already been formed the special directive of Chief Minister to resolve the issue.

He added that the committee comprised of Secretary Transport, Deputy Commissioner Peshawar, Deputy Director Roads PDA, officials of Urban Planning Unit (UPU), officer from Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and traffic police officials.

Imtiaz Hussain maintained that according to 2015 survey the capacity of municipal roads of university town was 2000 to 3000 vehicles per day and the university main road had the capacity of accommodating 15000 cars a day adding that the main roads of Peshawar had the capacity of one hundred thousand vehicles.

He mentioned that the new survey about road capacity would be conduct after the completion of BRT project.

In a sitting session with Deputy Director Traffic Police Muhammad Ashfaq Afridi told FP that there was no exact figure available about the numbers of vehicles running on the roads of Peshawar but according to estimate 0.7 million vehicles check in to Peshawar everyday from Khyber Pass, motorway, Charsadda, and Nowshera roads.

He shared that the number of vehicles have been registered with Excise Department, include 325000 motorbikes, 126000 motorcars, 30 thousand small wagons, one thousand ambulances, 10 thousand Qingqis and 30 thousand rickshaws.

He revealed that 30 rickshaws are being registered but more than 60 thousand rickshaws run on the road of Peshawar everyday.

Responding to a query the deputy director said that the capacity of the roads inside Peshawar is not up to the mark and after the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project the roads will become more narrowed and the service lines have also been removed due to which the capacity for vehicles flow has becoming minimum.

He stated further that the encroachments established outside has been the main issue faced by Peshawar traffic police.

He said that another problem being faced by traffic police was the illegal vehicle-stands and the unavailability of parking areas in most of the plazas in Peshawar city.

‘‘This was the responsibility of PDA to keep check on parking lots and illegal stands’’, he added.

An official, unanimously, told FP that RTA Peshawar has issued route permits to 32,631 vehicles, including 24,614 rickshaws, 5,701 yellow-cabs, 1,146 mini buses, 526 buses and 644 wagons.

He added that RTA is being restricted to issue only road permits to vehicles, issuance and renewal bus stands licenses and temporary parking permissions but traffic department has to implement the regulation on ground.

Responding to a question, he stated that RTA has no data and information about the road capacity of Peshawar.