KARACHI, Dec 31: The city’s south district witnessed a massive traffic jam on Monday evening when several key roads leading to the Sea View were sealed with containers as part of security arrangements for New Year’s Eve.
Traffic began piling up an hour before sunset and the congestion continued till 9pm when the police authorities ultimately decided to remove containers from one of the major roads, which helped easing traffic movement.
“The areas disturbed due to the traffic jam included I.I. Chundrigar Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, M.R. Kayani Road, Rafiquee Shaheed Road, Sarwar Shaheed Road, Court Road, M.A. Jinnah Road, Fatima Jinnah Road and Club Road,” said an official at the traffic inquiry 915.
“The traffic volume remained the same though number of regular roads or passages shrank due to security arrangements. Like parts of Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road and Aiwan-i-Sadar Road were completely blocked with containers.
Similarly, more than a dozen arteries and roads linking Sea View or Clifton with other parts of the city have been blocked and people are using alternative routes.”Hundreds of vehicles were seen snarled up on M.A. Jinnah Road, I.I.
Chundrigar Road and Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road and adjoining arteries, including parts of Saddar. The traffic congestion eased after 9pm when the traffic authorities intervened.
“The area police started placing containers on the roads much before the scheduled time,” said DIG (Traffic) Khurram Gulzar.
“As people left their offices just before sunset on their vehicles and public transport with only limited roads to move out of the south district, a large number of vehicles ended up in traffic jams.”He said the traffic official managed to convince the police authorities to remove containers from Aiwan-i-Sadar Road and Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road for a brief period with the result that the congestion eased.
Meanwhile, under the security arrangements, the police almost sealed the Clifton, DHA and Sea View area several hours before New Year’s Eve. Roadside restaurants, hotels and fuel stations were compelled to close down their business well before the normal time due to security concerns.
Residents of the area suffered the most while leaving and entering their neighbourhoods.
The officials said the arrangements had been made amid intelligence reports of a possible terrorist activity on New Year’s Eve that also included proposal from the police for a 12-hour suspension of cellphone service, which was not entertained by the federal government.