Rawalpindi

The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad witnessed the worst traffic jam in recent memory after a large numbers of residents including house wives, children and the aged staged a protest demonstration against Sui gas load shedding at Faizabad Interchange here on Friday.

The protestors, some of them were holding sticks and bamboos also torched tyres and other inflammable stuff and blocked IJP Road, Murree Road and Islamabad Expressway triggering a massive traffic jam on almost all small and big roads of the twin cities. Some of the uncontrolled protestors pelted the public and thrashed private transport with stones and sticks.

Irate protestors were chanting slogans against the government and SNGPL and demanded earlier restoration of Sui gas in the houses.

 The traffic jam was also compounded due to the fact that police had set up barricades on the entry points to Islamabad at the main Express way and Golra Crossing, which resulted in further slowing down of the vehicles.

The mess of such a large number of people at Faizabad Interchange caused bumper to bumper traffic jam at Katcheri, GT Road Road, Morgah Morr, UN Morr, Ayub Park, Lalazar, Tulsa Road, 502 Workshop, Adyala Road, Dheri Hassanabad, Bakra Mandi, Dhoke Syedan, Barak Khana, Girja Road, Chakra, Misrial Road, Peshawar Road, Pirwadhai Morr, Tarnool, IJP Road, Raja Bazaar, Mandi Morr, Double Road, Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Mareer, Moti Mehal, Liquat Bagh, Committee Chowk, Waris Khan, Iqbal Road, City Saddar Road, Jamia Mosque Road, Asghar Mall Scheme, Saidpur Road, Commercial, 6th Road, 7 th Road, Iran Road, Sadiqabad Road, Kuri Road, Muslim Town, ASF Headquarter, Gae Chowk, Rawal Road, Chandni Chowk, Fauji Tower, Tipu Road, Bandh Khana Road, Koral Chowk and many other roads. The commuters and pedestrians faced immense hardships due to the massive traffic snarl.

Hundreds of tenants poured on the express way and protested against Suigas load-shedding. A heavy contingent of Rawalpindi and Islamabad Police reached at the site but did not try to disperse the violent protestors.

 Amjad Khan, a resident of Dhoke Kala Khan, who protested along with his family, said that the SNGPL observed unannounced load-shedding owing to which his wife could not prepare food for school going children. He said that for last three days, he bought food from hotel to feed his family. He demanded of the government to end load-shedding.

 “We are suffering a lot because of gas load-shedding. It has become difficult for us to prepare even a cup of tea during breakfast.” said Shazia Bibi, who lives in Faizabad.