LAHORE - Lahore witnessed worst traffic mess on Monday as police blocked several roads in the name of security for a PML-N rally. Ambulances were too trapped in the traffic jumbles while patients were unable to reach Sir Ganga Ram Hospital – courtesy to Punjab cops.
Although the police did not place containers to block the roads yet the barriers and barricades choked the general traffic in many parts of Lahore.
The ruling PML-N took out rally titled ‘Istehkam-e-Paksitan (Pakistan’s Solidarity)’ from Mozang Chowk to Chairing Cross on The Mall. Police blocked both sides of the Shaarey Fatima Jinnah Road for general traffic by putting barriers, which caused worst traffic mess in the entire locality.
The situation became worse in the congested localities as the wardens diverted the traffic towards already packed roads. Amid traffic mess, almost all the traffic signaled were switched off at The Mall, Jail Road, Ferozpur Road, and Canal Road, where the wardens were unable to control the traffic manually.
The traffic mess coupled with the protests rally badly affected businesses at The Mall and Jail Road. As the PML-N activists took out small rallies from different parts of Lahore on motorcycles and other vehicles and traveled towards the Mozang Chowk on early Monday, they caused traffic chaos everywhere. Hundreds of vehicles remained struck for a considerable time on the leading roads especially on The Mall, Ferozpur Road, Jail Road, and Multan Road. The traffic wardens were witnessed staying alongside the roads like silent spectators especially on The Mall and adjoining roads when thousands of PML-N activists staged the rally to express solidarity with the country.
Traffic department’s alternate plan failed on The Mall due to extra rush of vehicles. On the other hand, wardens managed to facilitate the motorists on some roads including Canal Road and Gulberg and Cantonment areas by diverting the traffic flow to the adjacent arteries.
Motorists were seen arguing with the traffic policemen as they failed to ensure smooth flow of traffic on The Mall, Lawrance Road, Davis Road, Lytton Road, Lower Mall, and other small roads leading to The Mall due to the rally.
“People are suffering political crisis. The fight between rulers and opposition is adding to public problems,” Muhammad Khan, a schoolteacher said amid traffic mess at the Jail Road.
Some motorists left their vehicles on the roads and were seen exchanging harsh words with the wardens as they got stuck in the traffic mess.
Commuters complained that no one was ready to listen to people's complaints, as traffic wardens were unable to ensure smooth running of traffic on The Mall and other linked roads.
Meanwhile, at least 3,000 policemen were deployed on the route of the rally to keep the things under control. Dozens of police commandoes equipped with automatic weapons were also deployed on the rooftops of multi-storey buildings to keep a vigilant eye on the activities of the miscreants.