LAHORE: Around 3,000 traffic wardens are working like ghosts in the employment system, as the Punjab government has not been able to decide their future by either declaring them permanent or contractual employees.
A large number of wardens, who are performing their duties on city roads for the last four years, have been disheartened because they feel their future remains bleak due to the neglectful behaviour of the provincial government.
They are not only deprived of all the benefits, which a normal government employee enjoys, but their jobs also promise no promotion or pension after their retirement, which means all of them are equal and no one among them will get any appreciation on the basis of performance like in other government forces.
Over 600 traffic wardens have already left the Traffic Police Department over fears that this job does not promise a bright future to them and their families. Also, a number of traffic wardens are trying to shift their duties in the Punjab Police or other government departments on deputation while about 50 traffic wardens have succeeded in transferring them to the Lahore Transport Company (LTC).
A warden, who wished anonymity, told Daily Times that their officers had forwarded a request for the development of promotion criteria in their department to the government, but to no avail.
Sources in the traffic police said that now the wardens realised they were also becoming victims of coming into existence as a department during the previous government’s regime. They said that some traffic wardens had left the department due to bleak future, while many were trying to leave because police high ups assured them again and again that they were like Punjab Police. But, they in fact were like the stepsons, they maintained.
“The Punjab government gives risk allowance to the Punjab Police but it does not offer any such allowance to the traffic police personnel,” the sources said, adding that when they raised questions about the risk allowance in their department, they were informed that they were not police.
A senior advocate of the Lahore High Court, Malik Sarood, said that it was a dilemma that the government only gave certain powers or facilities to traffic wardens through a notification but never practically accepted them as their equal part.
Punjab government spokesperson and a number of other officers were not available for comments despite multiple requests- DailyTimes