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Traffic mess in and around Gulberg

Traffic mess in and around Gulberg

LAHORE: Thousands of people got stranded on various roads and even streets, mainly in Gulberg area on Wednesday after police completely barricaded the Main Boulevard to prevent a rally by some religious outfits.

Hundreds of supporters of Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah had a plan to gather at Liberty Chowk to mark ‘Tahuffaz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat day’.

The riot police resorted to shelling outside the Qadhafi Stadium Metro Station to disperse the demonstrators who wanted to reach Liberty Chowk.

Police placed containers in the city to thwart the rally, leading to a monstrous gridlock in various areas. Thousands of commuters were left stranded due to blockage of different roads leading to Liberty Chowk.

Metro Bus service was also suspended partially and water cannons were brought to the scene to disperse the rally participants.

The roads affected by the gridlock included Shadman, Jail Road, Canal Road, Ferozepur Road, Husain Chowk, Centre Point and some side roads in Gulberg.

Police blocked Gulberg’s Main Boulevard for traffic near Siddique Trade Centre and Kalma Chowk by placing containers, besides other adjacent arteries leading to Liberty Chowk.

Similarly, Ghausul Azam Road and the road from Firdaus Market and Husain Chowk to Liberty Chowk were also closed for traffic.

Those living in the localities near the Liberty Chowk, Kalma Chowk and Siddique Trade Centre also faced traffic problems because of the road blockages.

Complaining about the traffic plan devised by the police, some commuters trapped in the gridlock said no-one had alerted them about the traffic situation in the city. They said that because of the traffic mismanagement people had to face difficulty in reaching their workplaces, while students and their parents also suffered due to road blockages.

National cricket team opener Muhammad Hafeez, who too got trapped in the gridlock, tweeted, “Jam roads in Lahore causing lots of problems. Missed my training session couldn’t get to NCA because of that & now finding hard to get back home.”

“I respect all the opinions but any protest shouldn’t cause problems to common people, I witness many ambulances got stuck on roads,” he added.

Mr Yaqoob, a motorcyclist said, “I left my home in Icchra for Qadafi Stadium. Normally the distance is covered in five to seven minutes, but today it took me almost one and a half hours to reach there due to traffic jam on Ferozepur Road”.

However, Traffic DIG Syed Ahmed Mobeen claimed several diversion points had been provided to motorists so that they could avoid clogged roads.

He said additional force was deployed to help the citizens trapped in the gridlock, claiming the traffic was moving slow but it was not jammed.

Published in Dawn January 5th, 2017

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