Punjab Assembly in session; traffic jams


LAHORE: The Mall and its connecting roads were jammed thanks to the Punjab Assembly’s (PA) session and the Islami Jamiat e Taliba (IJT) protest on Wednesday. Commuters going to office, school and shopping were complaining about the traffic jams on the roads connecting The Mall.
“Extraordinary security measures for VIP movement and security of the Punjab Assembly has affected traffic in Lahore’s hub”, said a motorist. Senior citizens criticized the way the Punjab government was handling traffic problems. They reiterated the demand to transfer major wholesale markets in Lahore to the city suburbs, especially the markets adjoining The Mall such as Hall Road and the Neela Gumbad.
Security measures because of the PA session caused traffic jams also on the canal, Jail Road and of course the roads connecting The Mall. Traffic from Lawrence Road to Queens Road was jammed because of a police blockade of parts of The Mall.
Traffic police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Ali Nawaz told Pakistan Today that “We always deploy traffic police officials and wardens during the Punjab Assembly session, there’s nothing new about this. Traffic problems occurred because of the protest by students in front of Punjab Assembly, otherwise the traffic was smooth.”
A commuter named Aamir bin Asif told Pakistan Today, “It took me an hour to reach my office, whereas the journey was no longer than 15 minutes on Sunday, now you can imagine the impact of this traffic jam”. A worker on Hall Road said “Expensive petrol already takes most of my income, now these traffic jams are causing an increased burden on my pocket.”
An employee of a bank in front of the Punjab Assembly expressed his anger at the government and said “The public is not valued at all. I had to meet a deadline but this traffic jam dashed all my plans.”
“The public is facing psychological problems because of inflation and stress and now these traffic problems are adding to it”, said Saima Majeed, a psychologist.
A senior citizen and ex-banker Iftikhar Butt said “An area of about three kilometer is governing the entire Punjab; government officials should take measures to transfer the major offices of Punjab government”. Citizens demanded the Punjab chief minister look into the matter and address the traffic problem.