LAHORE – Recently, a big City hotel witnessed the change of command. It was given ‘Hospitality Inn’ as its new name. And instantly it showed some real hospitality by vacating a portion of the encroached road in front of it. The hotel, on the Edgerton Road, however, did not remove the drums and fences kept with its boundary wall towards the road. (The encroachment was effected by the former administration.)

The fresh noble gesture has been viewed as an example of half-hospitality, as the full-hospitality means submission before the law as advised by the City District Government. The new administration of Avari Hotel has also removed the cemented blocks and cleared the service road in front of it.

The fact, however, remains that most other big hotels are not listening to CDGL order. And the city’s traffic police, too, have failed to get barriers and cemented blocks illegally placed outside these 5-star and 3-star hotels removed. Some government buildings in the provincial capital are also showing obduracy, creating one of the major reasons behind the frequent traffic jams on the roads.

The administration of these top hotels have encroached upon sufficient area of public paths and blocked service roads and footpaths way beyond their jurisdictions since long. This was done in the name of security threats. These hotel hurdles are not only creating obstacles for the motorists but also upping the inconvenience for the pedestrians. Insiders in the CDGL have revealed that the CDGL authorities are under pressure from some provincial government high-ups, prominent political and non-political persons belonging to the elite class, businessmen and high-ranking bureaucrats, convincing them not to take action against the hotels. “Due to the interference of these influential persons, the CDGL authorities are reluctant in taking any initiate aimed at a smooth traffic,” a CDGL source said. “Due to this very reason, long queues of vehicles can be witnessed outside big hotels on The Mall, Davis Road, Edgerton Road and on some roads outside some other prominent hotels and restaurants in posh areas of the City,” he added.

It may be mentioned here that Commissioner Jawad Rafiq Malik had ordered to remove all the barriers, fences, hurdles and other encroachments from outside of all the five star hotels of the City, which were erected by hotels’ managements and are causing difficulty in smooth flow of traffic and causing traffic jams on these roads for hours particularly during peak traffic hours. These orders were issued in a meeting with high-ranking officers of different departments, a couple of weeks ago. The officers also decided to ensure special arrangements for controlling traffic mess of about 203 educational institutes, situated on about proposed 20 model city roads, according to a plan prepared by the district administration and traffic police in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic at all the major roads of the city.

In this regard, Chief Traffic Officer Sayed Ahmad Mubeen told the Commissioner that after making special traffic control arrangements, smooth flow of traffic at morning and noon could be ensured. However, the Commissioner issued directions on the occasion to remove barriers from outside of all the five star hotels as soon as possible and without any pressure or fear of interference from the influential persons.