Heavy traffic jams on major roads are nothing new for people living in Rawalpindi. However, the situation on roads has worsened significantly during Ramazan, when everyone is in a rush to get home as quickly as possible.
Despite the construction of Chandni Chowk flyover and Committee Chowk underpass, traffic jams are common sights on Benazir Bhutto Road (formerly Murree Road), while the situation on Raza Bazaar Road, Bank Road, Saidpur Road and Piwadhai Road isn’t any better. The congested patch between Mareer Chowk and Chandni Chowk on Murree Road also causes traffic blockage almost every day.
“Driving on Murree Road in enough to test commuters’ patience,” said Atif, a commuter. Tahir, another commuter, said, “It takes five to 10 minutes at every traffic signal on Murree Road which is annoying to say the least.”
Motorists say traffic jams result mostly from wrong parking on roads, encroachments, traffic mismanagement and violations of traffic rules by certain commuters.
Commuters are not the only ones who suffer. Businesses also have to bear the burden, as crowded roads often discourage people, especially women, to visit markets.
“Our businesses are being destroyed due to these traffic jams which divert people away from the markets,” said Farman, a shopkeeper, in Moti Bazaar.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.