KARACHI: Drivers in Karachi caught on roads without a driving licence would only be challaned and ticketed as per the existing law, rules and regulations, according to a statement made by a spokesperson of Sindh police on Wednesday.
The latest announcement contradicts DIG-Traffic Dr Amir Sheikh’s warning last week that traffic police could arrest and jail drivers for up to a month for not having their driving licences.
Sindh Police Inspector General (IG) Ghulam Hyder Jamali presided over a high-level meeting at the Central Police Office called on the instructions of Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal to discuss traffic-related issues and their solutions on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by AIG Traffic Khadim Hussain Bhatti, DIG-Traffic Dr Amir Sheikh, DIG Driving Licence Branch Luqman Pathan, DIG Police Headquarters, Karachi, Abdul Aleem Jaffery and other high-ranking officers.
AIG traffic informed the meeting that following the approval of Sindh home minister a functional document was being prepared for the establishment of additional driving licence branches in the city.
He added said that according to the first phase, four bracnhes would be setup at designated places which include Traffic Training Institute, Crime Branch building, Police Training Centre, Saeedabad and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Elite Police Training Centre at Razzaqabad.
Bhatti further said that after the plan would be practically implemented after the approval of the working paper.
The AIG traffic said that keeping in view the difficulties faced by the applicants 12 locations have been designated for the establishment of centres where learner’s licences will be issued. The designated locations include the offices of AIG traffic, DIG traffic and zonal SSPs.
IG Sindh Ghulam Hyder Jamali a practical steps and suggestions should be prepared collectively in this regard and sent for immediate approval.
DIG traffic also informed the meeting that there were around 3.8 million vehicles plying on the city’s roads whereas, on an average, 903 vehicles are being registered daily.
Identifying traffic issues, Dr Amir Sheikh said that encroachments and lack of parking lots were also adversely affecting the flow of traffic in Karachi. He added that in the resolution of these issues was being possible in consultation with all stakeholders of the matter.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Sindh home department had strongly reaced to a “hasty” and “ill-conceived” campaign by traffic police authorities to arrest and jail the drivers without driving licences prompting the postponement of the drive to check licences till February next year.
“The home department has taken a serious view of chaos and severe law and order situation at Nazimabad driving licence branch on November 2, 2015 due to a hasty decision taken by the traffic police, Karachi without evaluating the pros and cons of the campaign,” said additional chief secretary (home) Mohammad Waseem in a letter sent to Sindh IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali.
The reaction had come a day after police had resorted to baton-charge as scores of applicants, desperate to apply for or renew driving licences, thronged Motor Vehicle Inspection and Driving Licence branches in Clifton and North Nazimabad areas of the city.
An overwhelming number of applicants had turned up in response to DIG-Traffic Dr Amir Sheikh’s warning last week that drivers without licences would be jailed.
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