All Pakistan Clerk Association (APCA) staged a strong protest on Thursday and paralysed the traffic on arteries adjacent to the Mall Road.
They held a demonstration to press for their demands in front of Punjab Civil Secretariat resulting in a severe traffic jam in adjoining areas. They were demanding that their pay scales be upgraded and asked the government to pay heed to their grievances.
The protest created many difficulties for commuters in the area.
A student from Government College University named Waseem Shah had to wait for three hours to go home after getting free from the college because of the protest. He told this scribe that the government should announce a specific location for rallies and protests, and Nasir Bagh is a suitable option for this purpose.
Several ambulances were also stuck in the traffic.
An ambulance driver who was struck in traffic said that this was the centre of the city and ambulances have to cross the Katcheri Chowk to reach major hospitals such as Mayo, Ganga Ram and Services. He revealed that sometimes serious patients expire on the roads due to traffic jams.
Rana Abdul Rehman, a practicing lawyer of the Lahore High Court told Pakistan today that a number of his clients had to park their vehicles far from his office and had to walk on foot to appear in their hearings. “This area is already very congested and whenever a protest is held, we all suffer,” Rana concluded.
In the meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Chief Traffic Office (CTO) said that 102 more traffic wardens were called to ensure smooth flow of traffic. He also visited the civil secretariat chowk, Regal Chowk and Faisal Chowk in order to facilitate the commuters and to monitor the working of traffic wardens.
APCA Chairman, Syed Mehmood ul Hassan, told Pakistan today that clerks of other provinces have been awarded up graded pay scale but in Punjab the same has not happened, despite past promises by the government.
“The higher ups have told us that the final summary regarding the pay scales have been forwarded to the CM Secretariat but no notification has been issued yet,” he said. He was of the view that clerks from all over the province are participating in the protest and they will not budge till the acceptance of their demands.
SPCA Senior Vice President, Zafar Ali Khan while speaking to Pakistan Today said that the leadership was going for negotiations with the commissioner and additional chief secretary, and the next step will be taken after negotiations. He further said that if their demands are not met, the protest would continue.