Rawalpindi-A massive traffic jam was witnessed across the city due to the presence of people in markets and bazaars putting the traffic police on the toes.

A three-day lockdown has been put in place in the province including Rawalpindi to ensure the safety of citizens against the deadly COVID-19 but many are seen flouting the guidelines and thronging to bazaars including Raja Bazaar and markets causing gigantic traffic jam. 

Tens of thousands of people assembled at Raja Bazaar sans gloves and masks while violating SOPs of government and risking lives of each other during outbreak of coronavirus.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic jam could be seen at Saddar, Haider Road, Kashmir Road, Adam Jee Road, Cantonment Hospital Road, Police Station Road, Railway Road, Mall Road, Peshawar Road, Katcheri, JhandaCheechi, Rashid Minhas Road, Jhelum Road, Murree Road, LiaquatBagh, Tipu Road, Airport Road, Rawal Road, ShaheenChowk, ASF HQ Road, Sadiqabad, Muslim Town, Haji Chowk, TrollyAdda, Kuri Road, Dhoke Kala Khan, Double Road, Faizabad, Commercial, Sixth Road, Fifth Road, 

Rehmanabad, ChandniChowk, Saidpur Road, Khayaban e Sir Syed, Raja Bazaar, Iqbal Road, CommitteChowk, Ganjmandi, SooterMandi, DAV College Road, Bohar Bazaar, City Saddar Road, Gawalmandi and many other areas.

Even the ambulances with blaring sirens carrying patients got stuck in gigantic traffic jam with traffic wardens putting off struggles to ease traffic jam. It was also impossible for the pedestrians to walk into the traffic jam on roads.

“What is going on? Where we people are moving? Government is making all out efforts and utilizing resources to keep the masses safe from COVID-19 but seeing this flood of traffic and people in bazaars and on roads one can say coronavirus will infect us all,” said Ahmed Khan, a government employee, while talking to The Nation. There was peace when public transport and other traffic were shut but it seemed all are out on roads and in bazaars to violate government SOPs, said AneelaZaman, a resident of Murree Road.

“I have been stuck in long traffic jam for last one hour and finding no way to go out,” said Shabbir Ahmed.

Despite the high risk of COVID-19 outbreak in several areas of city, the streets, road and bazaars have already started flooding with traffic, said a police officer. He said public should adopt precautionary measures to avoid being affected with deadliest virus. He said police force on orders of Regional Police Officer DrSohailHabib Tajik and City Police Officer Muhammad AhsanYounas are fighting against coronavirus outbreak as front force. 

Meanwhile, citizens took to Twitter highlighting the issue, giving the traffic police and other authorities concerned glimpse of the situation on ground.

Keeping in view the worried situation in the city, Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Syed Ali Akbar ordered his force to ease traffic flow and to facilitate the road users and other citizens. He also patrolled in city to monitor the duties of wardens.

In a statement, CTO said citizens in very big numbers thronged to markets and bazaars for Eid shopping after governments eased lockdown causing traffic jam.

He said City Traffic Police are doing its level best to facilitate the citizens. “Besides deploying extra warden force, lifters and cranes are also moving on road to tackle any emergency,” he said adding that circle DSPs, Inspectors and duty officers are active on places where there are traffic and public rush.

“Wardens are imparting duties with commitment and dedication despite harsh weather condition and observing fast of Ramadan Ul Mubarak,” said CTO Syed Ali Akbar. He appealed the citizens and road users to cooperate with traffic police so that traffic rush could be controlled.