LAHORE - The city traffic police Thursday said they were “going to readjust the traffic control plan” to facilitate motorists as authorities expect massive crowds at the Gaddafi Stadium for the final match.

The three-match cricket series between Pakistan and World-XI will conclude on Friday (today) in Lahore amid unprecedented security measures. Thousands of police are engaged in one of the biggest security operations involving paramilitary troops and counterterrorism personnel.

Lahore’s chief traffic officer Rai Ijaz Ahmed told The Nation that additional traffic officers would be deployed across the city to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic on roads. A large number of traffic officers will also be deployed at various diversion points to guide motorists. 

 “We understand that roadblocks slow down traffic movement on major roads, as happened in the last two matches. We are going to readjust the entire traffic control plan with maximum deployment and minimum blockade,” the CTO said.

The officer also appealed to the citizens and particularly the drivers to follow the guidelines of traffic officers while travelling on city roads during the match hours.

The traffic police department last week launched a special awareness campaign with large-size advertisements in the national press to inform citizens about the traffic movement plan. Also, motorists were requested by police to use alternative routes through radio stations and mobile phone applications.

“All traffic officers are passionately performing their duties. The revival of cricket (in Pakistan) is a great thing indeed. We are a sports-loving nation and our officers have special love for cricket,” Rai Ijaz said while referring to Traffic Warden Tanveer Iqbal who died during gun and bomb attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March, 2009.

Six policemen were among eight people who died and some members of the Sri Lankan national team were wounded in the early morning assault that deprived Pakistani grounds of international players.

Twenty-six-year-old Traffic Warden Tanveer Iqbal was deployed near Liberty Roundabout to ensure safe passage for the convoys carrying the players of Sri Lankan team to stadium when several gunmen unleashed the horrific attack.

 “Tanveer Iqbal is hero of this department. He lives in the hearts of traffic wardens. We have requested his family to come and watch the match. We also pay him rich tributes for his heroic services and sacrifices he rendered for the motherland,” says the chief traffic officer.

Meanwhile, on the directions of SSP Rai Ijaz Ahmad, city traffic police department Thursday launched a full-fledged awareness campaign to educate motorists about the diversion points and alternative routes for the final match of the Azadi Cup 2017.

On this occasion, the CTO also said that the basic purpose to implement a comprehensive traffic plan was to facilitate maximum citizens who are coming to enjoy the final match. Citizens can get any information and help from our helpline 1915 or social media of CTPL, he added.

Traffic officers on Thursday visited different schools, colleges, and universities where they distributed pamphlets among the students. They were also seen on major city roads to educate motorists about the traffic diversion plan for the final match.

SP Asif Siddique visited The Mall, Jail Road, Ferozepur Road, Liberty Market, and different educational institutions to distribute traffic awareness pamphlets, flowers, and candies among children.

According to a police spokesman, SP Asif Siddique gave a detailed briefing to students and citizens about how to reach the Qaddafi Stadium. He also assured the citizens that city traffic police would implement a complete traffic plan to help cricket fans and ensure smooth flow of traffic on city roads.

For the final match, some 1600 traffic officers including seven SPs and 20 DSPs would be deployed across the city to control vehicular traffic in addition to dozens of patrolling officers.