Truckers’ alliances across Pakistan called off their strike on Tuesday after successful talks with authorities and have now reemerged on Pakistan’s roads, causing traffic jams on Wednesday.
Usually, heavy vehicles move from Karachi’s Hawkesbay and head through the city via the Native Jetty Bridge, Mai Kolachi, Sunset Boulevard, Korangi and then on to Kathore via the highway. They return on the same route.
“We have called off our strike and given the authorities 30 days to deliver on our demands,” the media person for the United Goods Transport Alliance, Imdad Naqvi, told SAMAA Digital.
Discussing the heavy traffic on Karachi’s roads, he said the gridlocks on the roads are likely to be routine for at least 10 days. This is how long it will take for trucks to transport the backed up goods at the port and industries.
The Karachi traffic police, however, believe that the flow of traffic will normalise in a matter of hours. Clifton DSP Tahir Khan said the gridlocks were anticipated in District East [SITE and the surrounding industrial area] but all their personnel, including the traffic DIG, were in the field to manage the situation.
“We advise people to take alternate routes other than SITE area and Shireen Jinnah Colony. This will not only help us resolve traffic jams but also help motorists avoid being stuck on roads,” he said.
“The spillover effect of this unprecedented flow of traffic can be seen on Sharae Faisal and II Chundrigarh Road and in the surrounding areas but we will have them cleared by afternoon,” Khan said.
He added that the traffic was because of the strikes that halted goods transportation in the country, but in order to compensate for it they have relaxed the time limitations for truckers.
The authorities and the transporters alliances had been at a stalemate since the beginning of the strike on January 6. The issue was settled on January 13, when the government agreed to consider the transporters’ demands.
For now, they are allowed to carry 15% more weight than the axle-load policy until its official implementation. This was one of their main demands.