Traffic Jams & Solutions
One could list numerous reasons for traffic congestion in almost any city and also in Faisalabad. Some of these are listed here:

1. Road Construction & Development Works:
The road construction works are in progress on some of the roads and pace of progress is very slow. Apart from that, when a road is completed, soon a government department comes in to dig the road for some work or other. Such as water and sewerage pipelines laid by Faisalabad Development Authority (FDA), authorization of Sui-gas connection or water connection to houses on the other side of the road. Laying of telephone or internet cables across the roads also causes much of nuisance for the road users. Laying of water supply and sewerage pipelines is the most troublesome part of the development. It not only causes traffic problems, it also damages the roads very badly. Most of the projects are on going without any traffic diversion plan.

2. Encroachments:
Squatters have also set up encroachments on the roads. The car showroom owners park their vehicles at footpath and on a large portion of all major and side roads has been occupied by the vendors or shopkeepers. Cars plying on rent are invariably parked on roadsides. Inter-city buses have illegal depots and stop points along major roads causing hindrance in traffic flow.

3. Manual Traffic Control:
Firstly the electricity power remains off during the major part of the day and according to a report in, traffic signals are switched off in many areas by police officials who try to control the traffic manually. They get confused in the process and thus traffic from different directions is grid locked leading to traffic muddle on the roads. They open one-side of road for long period while the other side traffic is closed for minutes. Ironically, the signals are operating under control of City District Government, while traffic wardens of police are responsible for smooth flow of traffic. They can not change the timings or the sequence of signal opening. They have to request in writing to City District Government. Timings are stored in the system in according to the traffic volume, which cannot be varied easily. VIP movement also hinders the smooth flow of traffic on major roads.

4. Lack of Civic Sense:
Another major reason for traffic jams and mishaps in this city, rather any big city is lack of civic sense of the drivers. Most drivers are either unaware of traffic rules or they simply do not bother to observe them.
Changing lanes unduly, overtaking, speeding and moving in wrong lane causes frustration, depression and hyper-tension to other drivers.

Solving traffic related issues is certainly no easy task and requires meticulous research and planning. Considering the non-availability of resources and funds, it is best to utilize what is readily available. Train the drivers to observe traffic rules. This is done by warning over a period of three months or so and then resorting to more efficient monitoring of traffic. Traffic police should be busy guiding and regulating the traffic, rather having a chat, which is a common seen.

(By Major Shahnawaz-ul-Hassan)