Commuters brace for cricket season woes

Home dept identifies thousands of buildings needing security

Nouman Sheikh/Mohammad Shahzad February 09, 2022
Pakistani soldier patrol as spectators queue at an entry gate of The Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on March 5, 2017. PHOTO: AFP


As Lahore police gear up to ensure safety of cricket teams and sensitive installations during Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches in wake of the recent explosion in Anarkali, the citizens are bracing for the resulting traffic gridlocks.

The PSL season seven matches are scheduled from February 10 to 27.

Their past experience of worst traffic jams during international cricket matches has left the commuters weary.

At a small tea stall on Guru Mangat Road, about 3km from Gaddafi Stadium, a youth, Attiqur Rehman, asked his friends about the schedule of closure of roads during the matches.

The youths expressed ignorance about the security plan and shared fears of problems faced during the road blockades.

They agreed to keep each other posted about their preparations for travel during the coming days.

The apprehension was shared by a number of citizens who use the Ferozepur, Canal, Jail and Mall Roads and work in Gulberg and adjoining areas after they came to know about the arrival of three PSL teams in Lahore on Tuesday.

The Mall Road was closed when the teams travelled from the airport to a hotel.

An advisory issued by the traffic police read, “Citizens are requested to refrain from travelling from Hajj Terminal to PC Hotel as diversions have been placed for movement of the cricket teams. Citizens should avoid travelling on Mall Road from 2pm."

Meanwhile, Punjab Home Department handed over a list of 9,087 installations that need to be guarded during the event in the provincial capital.

The department stressed the need for extraordinary security arrangements in wake of the Anarkali bomb explosion and the overall security situation of the region.

A report submitted to the chief minister termed the Model Town police division the most sensitive with 2,311 sensitive buildings located in the area.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2022.


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