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Sunday April 14, 2024

Traffic chaos in city

By Our Correspondent
February 27, 2024

Rawalpindi: Not to talk of major roads, traffic on all the Rawalpindi roads has increased manifold over the years. Chaos at Ammar Chowk is the worst. Go to Saidpur Road, Murree Road, Liaquat Road, Mureer Chowk, Raja Bazar, Jamia Masjid Road, Rehmanabad, Sadiqabad, Tench Bhatta, and other thoroughfares, particularly of the main city areas, the scenario is the same.

Commuters make their way along a motorway as they enter the capital city Islamabad. — AFP/ File
Commuters make their way along a motorway as they enter the capital city Islamabad. — AFP/ File

The number of vehicles registered by Excise and Taxation Rawalpindi has reached an enormous proportion. City roads are full of motorcycles, rickshaws, animal-driven carts and handcarts, motor cars, Jeeps, wagons, pick-ups, vans, buses, minibuses, flying coaches, trucks, tractors, water tankers, and cranes. Ambulances carrying patients are stuck in the long queues of vehicles.

“I live near Aghar Mall Chowk. Once upon a time, Pindiites preferred the stretch from Banni Chowk to Pindora Chowk for an easy evening drive. The teashops frequented by youngsters were situated a small distance away from Kali Tanki. Apart from these, ‘halwa puri’ and ‘pakora’ shops, and some other eateries were also located on the stretch. Traffic too was restricted to tongas and private cars,” says Jamil Naqvi, a factory worker.

“Today, the scene has changed completely. Perennial traffic jams make the journey arduous for students, government, and corporate sector employees, among others, on their way to work in and around the I-9 industrial sector. In the last few years, varieties of shops and medical clinics have mushroomed on this road. The development in terms of trade has brought problems too with it,” adds Jamil.

“On the Murree near Chandni Chowk, where my house exists, the old green fields alongside the stretch have made way for concrete structures. Now here major shopping malls, plazas, some of the flourishing eating outlets apart from innumerable Petrol & CNG stations are located and the greenery has almost become non-existent,” says Syed Mateen Shah, a chemist shop owner. “This road was a wonderful riding stretch when it came up decades ago. However, these days it is the nightmare of motorists. Many keep away from it. Since my shop is located here, I feel I am the victim of poor planning,’’ adds Mateen.

“Liaquat Road is operating at saturation point with the burgeoning traffic. A large number of vehicles ply on the stretch up to Raja Bazaar. With no arterial roads, a traffic pileup can sometimes last up to one hour. However, police say the number of vehicles plying on the stretch continues to increase,” says Tauqeer Haider.