Rawalpindi/islamabad - There were huge traffic snarls yesterday on all the roads in the twin cities, including the Islamabad Expressway after the civic bodies closed some parts of roads for carpeting.

The road users, including motorcyclists, who suffered a lot due to bumper-to-bumper traffic jam on almost all the small and big roads in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, alleged traffic police were not making any effort to ease the traffic mess. They said most of the traffic wardens and Islamabad Traffic Police officials are often remain absent from duties while their bosses acting Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) SP Yusaf Shahid and SSP Traffic Islamabad are not paying heed towards the traffic gridlock causing worries for road users and pedestrians.

However, the traffic police bosses of twin cities denied the allegations, saying the slow pace of carpeting work on several roads is the main reason behind gigantic traffic jam. The areas where there was worst traffic jam included Rashid Minhas Road, Saddar, Kashmir Road, Bank Road, Peshawar Road, Katcheri,Airport Road, Murree Road, Liaquat Bagh Chowk, Raja Bazaar, College Road, Asghar Mall Scheme, Commercial Market, T Chowk Rawat, Koral Chowk, Shakrial, Khanna Bridge, Islamabad Expressway, Dhoke Soan, Dhoke Kala Khan and Faizabad Interchange while disturbing the road users and even the pedestrians with no serious move on part of police to ease the traffic rush. A large numbers ambulances carrying patients to hospitals located in twin cities also stuck in traffic jam.

“Simply the traffic police of twin cities are unaware as how to manage traffic flow as the traffic jam has become a routine matter,” said Amir Khan, a government employee while talking to The Nation. He said he along with his family has stuck in worst traffic jam at the Airport Road for last 40 minutes.

Shehzad Gull, an engineer, said he wanted to go PIMS for enquiring after health of his sick relative but the traffic jam on the Expressway was not allowing him even to move his car for inch. He said traffic police officials are looking nowhere to control the traffic rush. He said everybody is worried because of traffic gridlock.

Acting CTO/SP Yusaf Shahid, when contacted, said traffic wardens have been making great efforts to control traffic rush in the city. He said the ongoing construction work on the Airport Road, Koral, Rawal Road and IJ Principal Road have converted traffic flow towards Rawalpindi causing traffic jams. However, he said, traffic police were successfully dealing with the situation. “The encroachments along roads are also creating problems in smooth traffic flow,” he said.

He said he has given two trucks to wardens with directions to seize all the stuff that were placed on roads by traders.

Officials at the Islamabad Traffic Police Headquarters here told The Nation that ongoing construction work for Signal-free Corridor is a routine obstruction to the flow of traffic. They said usually rush increases towards Rawalpindi in the evening which causes traffic jam but it gets clear in later hours. Specifically mentioning the traffic jam around 6pm, the officials said that it was due to army movement for which the normal traffic was stopped for a short while. Otherwise, it is smooth and convenient to move on the Expressway, they added.


israr ahmed/ tahir niaz