–Realtors’ protest disrupts traffic in different areas
LAHORE: The citizens of the provincial capital faced another terrible day on Thursday due to severe traffic jams on main roads, caused by ongoing protests at different places while the Charring Cross at The Mall appeared to have become a permanent ‘Hyde Park’ for the protesters.
Passing The Mall at Charring Cross had become a permanent nightmare for the commuters ever since the veterinary doctors and animal healthcare professionals had staged their protest for the acceptance of their demands which was later joined by the lady health workers.
On Wednesday, a large number of property dealers staged a protest demonstration outside the Punjab Assembly against the new taxes on property transactions. Hundreds of property dealers marched from Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and gathered at Liberty Chowk in Gulberg. Later, they reached Punjab Assembly during its ongoing session.
During their gathering in Gulberg, all adjacent roads remained block which added to the problems of commuters and businesses in the vicinity.
The protesters carried placards to show their demands while also chanting slogans against the government. The protesters said that the government had imposed a major tax on the real estate sector without taking them on board. They said that they were not against taxation but such taxes were harmful for their businesses.
“Government collects more than Rs 23 billion annually in term of taxes levied on property transfer just from DHA and this shows how much revenue is being collected from all over the country,” they said.
The situation of the traffic was even terrible near Azadi Chowk, Railways Station, Davis Road, Lakshmi Chowk, Abbot Road, McLeod Road and other adjoining areas where motorists had to suffer for hours due to traffic jams. Moreover, the traffic at Canal Bank Road was also jam-packed due to a rally of property dealers.
Reportedly, there were traffic jams at Shahdra, Bund Road, Thokar Niaz Baig, Qartaba Chowk and other adjoining areas as well. Several motorists tried to use alternate roads and streets of the residential areas but they got trapped in traffic jams there as well. City Traffic Police had claimed of deploying over 200 wardens on different roads to control the traffic but the situation had not improved. Minor clashes between the motorists were also witnessed during the day as many of them lost their temper in utter frustration. Many ambulances which were carrying patients also struggled to get to hospitals.
The routine protests at The Mall not only irked the citizens but also made business in the area difficult. Many businessmen, while complaining over the situation, told Pakistan Today that they had lost the tolerance to bear the situation. They said that over 3000 shops and business points were situated at The Mall which provided livelihood to over 5000 families.