LAHORE – The City witnessed worst type of traffic mess throughout the day on Thursday as the traffic policemen failed to manage the flow of traffic even at the leading arteries, multiplying the miseries of the commuters during rush hours.

Motorists complained that some traffic wardens fled away from the duty-points after the traffic situation went out of control during rush hours at the Canal Road and Thokar Niaz Baig traffic points.

Several citizens continued calling the senior police officers to complain about the traffic muddle but the traffic officers were unwilling to attend the calls on their official handsets.

The worst traffic mess was order of the day at the Jail Road, Canal Road, Main Boulevard, Multan Road, Wahdat Road, College Road Township, and Model Town Link Road. Motorists remain trapped on the roads for three hours on Thursday afternoon in Samanabad, Iqbal Town, Mughalpura, Garhi Shahu, Shadman, Ichhra and Muslim Town areas as the traffic wardens diverted the traffic flow towards already packed roads in congested localities.

“Three wardens have escaped from their duty-points (Johar Town underpass) as they failed to control the traffic flow. Now the motorists, at their own, are trying to get out of the traffic mess,” Muhammad Iqbal, a car-rider told The Nation while cursing the traffic authorities for the chaos.

Eyewitnesses said that a few ambulances were also seen stuck in the traffic jumbles near to the Jinnah Hospital on Thursday evening. A number of motorists came out of their cars and staged protest against the City traffic police for their failure to control the traffic. Instead of clearing the traffic flow, the wardens at busy the Shadman crossing were visibly busy either on gossips or on their cellular phones.

Traffic also remained clogged for over two hours on both sides of the Canal Road and its linking arteries in the afternoon as the traffic wardens diverted the flow of traffic from the Ferozepur Road towards the Canal Road. Long queues of vehicles were also witnessed at Liberty roundabout where there was not a single traffic officer to control the heavy flow of the traffic. Schoolchildren and workers had to suffer a lot to reach their residences after they left their offices or educational institutions amid worst traffic jams.

According to motorists, many citizens could not attend marriage ceremonies as they remained stuck in massive traffic jams for many hours during the night at Jail Road, Canal Road, main boulevard Iqbal Town, Wahdat Road and Link Road Model Town.

The construction of the Rapid Bus System on Ferozepur Road further multiplied the miseries of the motorists when the police diverted the traffic flow towards the residential localities in Ichhra, Muslim Town, Iqbal Town and Mozang areas. Long queues of vehicles with helpless men on the driving seats were also observed at every major road throughout the day including at Ferozepur Road, Multan Road, Lower Mall, and Circular Road and Thokar Niaz Baig.

A good number of car-riders also staged strong protest demonstration at Bhatti Chowk as the traffic jumbles erupted across the Walled City. They also demanded the Punjab government to ensure the flow of traffic on alternate routes. The protesters also chanted slogans against the traffic wardens, who badly failed to maintain flow of traffic on major the City roads, especially at the Lower Mall and Bund Road and in Lorry area.

The blockade of traffic at major roads also resulted into worst type of traffic mess on the adjacent arteries in the densely populated areas like Baghbapura, Misri Shah and Nolakha areas. “It took me two hours to reach Anarkali from Township, the distance otherwise we cover in 35 minutes,” said car-rider Muhammad Khan.

The traffic jams were also witnessed at the time of school opening and closing at main roads including Jail Road, the Mall Road, main boulevard Iqbal Town and Garhi Shahu crossing. Many schoolchildren were left with no other option but to leave for their schools on foot. The poor parents of the students had to leave all other daily activities just to pick and drop their children from schools and colleges. The shopkeepers and traders of Circular Road, Mcleod Road, Hall Road, Iqbal Town and Liberty market also expressed their strong concern over the failure of the traffic police. “The dust and traffic mess is affecting us mentally. The residents in the congested localities are falling prey to oral diseases. The government must do something to improve the traffic system,” Naeem Mustafa, a schoolteacher said.