ONE cannot help but worry about economic activity and the flow of traffic on Mall Road that has been suffering a lot on account of protest rallies that because of the worsening situation in the country in almost every respect have become daily occurrences. These days, given the recent increase in the price of petroleum products that just registered a 20 percent increase in the price of everyday commodities, most importantly the kitchen items, more and more people are taking to the streets. But unfortunately, in the absence of a proper site where the people could hold rallies, vent their fury at the government, etc, it is Mall Road, which is chosen as the place of a protest. The road is not only one of the most important centers of commerce in the provincial capital but also a vital traffic artery of the city. There are for instance, thousands of shops where business of all hues and colours is carried out every day, besides a number of government offices are also located there. According to an estimate, the business on the Mall suffers a loss of about Rs 5 million every time a rally is organized. Worried by the scenario, which has greatly dampened the business, reports have it that the traders and businessmen are moving to other areas. This is quite alarming and calls for an alternative place where rallies and demonstrations could be held so that public life is least affected. The government cannot escape the blame for this dismal picture. On the one hand, there are persistent spells of loadshedding of up to 16 hours followed by high power tariffs and on the other the common man is unable to afford even the basic food items like vegetable, milk eggs, etc. The PPP led set up which claims itself to be people's friendly would have to gird up its loins and see to it that the problems that are provoking people to take to the streets are addressed.