LAHORE, Nov 17: A private university on Saturday organised a marathon in connection with the Anti- Thalassaemia Day by blocking the road between Johar Town’s Expo Centre and Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital for hours.
Motorists had to go through a trying ordeal due to road blockade as the thoroughfare is fast becoming one of the most used routes because of its location.
The City District Government of Lahore had given permission to block the road for holding a marathon and organising prize-distribution ceremony at the traffic signal as part of the awareness programme.
The University of Central Punjab focal person on marathon, Muhammad Talal Ahmad told Dawn that the event comprising four different races and involving teachers and students from many universities was organised on Expo Road with a registration of 1,200 volunteers.
The students of the Lahore Garrison University, the Lahore School of Economics, the University of Engineering & Technology’s Lahore and Gujranwala branches, the Punjab University, COMSATS University besides the host varsity took part in the marathon.
He said at least 200 chairs were installed on the road at the Expo Centre traffic signal for a ceremony chaired by Punjab Education Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaaur Rehman. MNA Afzal Khokhar and members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry attended the event.
He said the ceremony began around 11:45am and continued till 1pm.
A traffic police official told this reporter that the DCO had given permission for the marathon to be conducted on both sides of the thoroughfare but the police authorities allowed closure of only one section of the road. He said the traffic problems occurred as wardens had to regulate two-way traffic on one section of Expo Road between the traffic signal and the cancer hospital.
The official said it was a clear-cut violation of traffic rules but the police were conveyed in writing by the DCO Office that the marathon and subsequent ceremony must be facilitated.