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August 16, 2018

School kids in a catch-22 situation


August 16, 2018

The kids heading towards the schools located in Sir Syed Chowk area are in a catch-22 situation because of certain problems that are not their creation.

A small lane, where the famous Waqar-un-Nisa Girls College exists, is the only entrance to the educational campuses.

Approach to the schools from the main chowk is just horrible. Vehicles zoom in from nowhere. That no major accident has happened goes to the disciplined students of the schools, who take out their cycles only when the school rush has subsided.

The commotion and chaotic conditions created at the start and end of school hours is to be seen, if it is to be believed. To start with, no cops were ever sighted regulating traffic. How long could this indifference last? The narrow lane leading to schools premises remains straddled with vehicles, big or small. The suzukiwalas, taxiwallas, vanwallas, wagonwallas and private car owners park their vehicles in such a fashion that it becomes difficult for the students to cross that way.

The things come to such a pass that some of the drivers park vehicles in the middle of the road not allowing the students to enter the schools. But what is the remedy to the situation? It is a virtual torture for the students. Traffic jams at other points of the city are also nothing short of a nightmare for commuters.

Traffic at Mareer Chowk gets virtually choked for several minutes, several times each day. With the traffic bursting at the seams, the commuters are left high and dry as the closure and failure of traffic signals coincides with office timings in the morning. Further, hundreds of vehicles remain stranded for a considerable time during the day, and in the evening hours. This chowk only compounds the problems of Islamabad-bound commuters with frayed tempers being a routine affair. In fact the roads congestion problem seems to be nowhere on the agenda of city officials. Meanwhile, even as they take time in making up their mind on redressing grievances, the commuters are just furious.

While the city administration has developed underpass at the nearby site of Committee Chowk, this area seems to have escaped its attention. In recent years traffic on Murree Road has increased manifold with the construction of Rawal Road. Hundreds of city-bound motorists from old airport localities prefer to use this road. Traffic from Saddar area has also been diverted to this route.

The development of this road has only given rise to major traffic chaos at Rawalpindi General Hospital T-junction. The city administration will have to come to some conclusion if it wants the area to be accident free and give the commuters some respite.

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