KARACHI: The Karachi traffic police revealed an almost identical traffic plan for the T-20 match series between Pakistan and the West Indies as it devised for the recently concluded Pakistan Super League final. The T-20 matches are scheduled to be held on April 1, 2 and 3 at the National Stadium.
This time, however, the traffic deputy inspector general (DIG) has made some changes in order to facilitate Karachiities. The routes leading towards the National Stadium will remain closed from 2pm instead of the 11am timing observed during the PSL final. As a concession, University Road is likely to remain open for commuters even during the match.
According to the traffic plan for the T-20 Pakistan-West Indies series, the roads from Karsaz to National Stadium will be blocked for traffic. Vehicles will be diverted towards Drigh Road and then towards Rashid Minhas Road from there. Roads leading from Dalmia to the National Stadium will also be closed along with the road leading from NIPA to Quaid’s Mazar, University Road and new MA Jinnah will also be closed for traffic. The road leading from Liaquatabad No 10 to the National Stadium will also be closed. Traffic will be rerouted towards Karimabad and Ayesha Manzil.
Seven places have also been designated for parking purposes – three on main University Road, the Hakeem Saeed Ground, Urdu University ground and Sunday Bazaar, three on Kashmir Road, KDA Club, KMC ground and China ground, and one in Ghareeb Shah Nawaz ground at Dalmia. The spectators will be dropped to designated spots by shuttles from where they will make their way to the stadium. No one will be allowed to get on the shuttle without a CNIC and ticket.
“The traffic plan is almost the same as what have devised for the PSL final,” said Traffic DIG Imran Yaqoob Minhas. “But this time, we are going to do more for the facilitation of the citizens of Karachi with some changes in our traffic plan.” Explaining the changes, DIG Minhas told The Express Tribune that the blockages of roads will now start from 2pm instead of 11am and that University Road will remain open for commuters during the match as the two matches are on working days.
“University Road is the connecting point from different main arteries like Sharae Faisal, Rashid Minhas Road and Sharae Pakistan,” explained DIG Minhas. “The changes are not part of the devised traffic plan but we are trying our level best to facilitate citizens more.” He said that more than 1,700 traffic wardens will be deployed around the stadium for the matches.
Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah, while addressing a joint press conference with security personnel on Friday, said that foolproof security arrangements will be made for the Pakistan-West Indies series. “The credit for the successful PSL final match goes to everyone involved,” he said. Admitting that there were deficiencies in the security plan for the PSL final, the minister said that those deficiencies will not be repeated.
The Rangers have control of the entire stadium. In order to facilitate spectators due to the hot weather, the timings have also been changed. “The spectators will start coming to the stadium by 3pm and the gates will remain open till 7pm,” explained Brigadier Shahid of the Sindh Rangers. “The International Cricket Council has expressed satisfaction with the security arrangements for the PSL final and this time the authorities will ensure foolproof security again.” No food or mobile phone chargers will be allowed at the stadium.
He said that the security measures will remain the same, adding that those who will be in the general seating area will be facilitated by allowing their entry into the stadium and for that purpose TCS staff has also been increased. East Zone police chief DIG Zulfiqar Larik said that the police will try to improve the traffic situation during the matches, adding that the police security arrangements are also the same as those made for the PSL final.