It is a tough struggle for the people living in Rawalpindi to move on roads, as the citizens have to face worst traffic gridlocks all the day, especially during peak hours.

Roads should be free from all hindrances, like beggars, carts, etc, for smooth flow of traffic. Drivers suffer mental stress and get aggressive in gridlocks. Standing in long queues of vehicles on road can lead to psychological distress or anxiety and mood disorders. How can one expect from a student or worker to pay attention to work after making his way through the roads of Rawalpindi with such traffic jams, loud horns and pollution. It is a mental torture for a driver if he/she has to drive near places like Mareer Chowk and Liaqut Bagh. Saddar, Tench Batta, Raja Bazar are areas with traffic chaos all the day. Patients moving towards Benazir Bhutto Hospital have to face such immense road traffics from Mareer Chowk to Liaqut Bagh and surrounding areas. There are long traffic queues where ambulances lie in wait for road clearance. Faizabad area is a nightmare during rush hours. The IJP Road has become an all-time mess. 

Many recent announcements about new projects of road repairs and expansions have been appearing in the news but we can only hope that we don’t have to face mess like people had to suffer during the construction of metro bus project. The trauma citizens have been facing since more than a year due to metro bus project has not come to end yet. Recently there has been announcement of a new project, signal-free corridor from Rawat to Zero Point. Work on the first phase of signal free expressway has been initiated.

Billions of rupees have been received in shape of taxes to fix traffic problems but all in vain. Problems could not only be addressed through more roads, flyovers or metro buses; rather strict observance to traffic rules is the only way out and heavy fines should be imposed on the traffic violators. The lane observance must be ensured. The drivers should also be guided regularly at traffic signals regarding observance of traffic rules and lanes.

The growing number of vehicles has also deteriorated the traffic system, which needs serious attention. Rapid and unplanned urbanisation is also blamed for heavy traffic. Modern technologies can be used to resolve traffic problems and observe violations.

—The writer Arooj Shabbir is doing BS Hons in media and communication studies from International Islamic University Islamabad.