TLP protest’s aftermath: Metrobus resumes service partially, train still suspended in Lahore

Published October 24, 2021
Police stand guard atop containers placed to block a bridge to halt TLP protestors as they march towards Islamabad from Lahore on October 23. — AFP
Police stand guard atop containers placed to block a bridge to halt TLP protestors as they march towards Islamabad from Lahore on October 23. — AFP

LAHORE: The metrobus service partially resumed its operation after a three-day suspension on Saturday due to violent clashes between police and the workers of the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) while the Orange Line train service remained suspended on the fourth day as its stations damaged by the protesters could not be repaired.

Thousands of Lahorites who would use these services for commuting to parts of the provincial capital were badly affected by the suspension of the both the facilities.

The metrobus service resumed its operation from Gajjumata to the MAO College only. The bus service was halted due to violent protests of the banned TLP.

The Orange Line metro train operation remained suspended on the fourth day too because four of its stations were damaged by the TLP protesters and they could not be made operational. The repair work at the Orange Line stations could not be carried out due to security issues. Even the maintenance staff of the train could not get permission to go inside the damaged stations to assess the losses. Hence, the train service remained suspended for the fourth day.

Musa, who works in the Civil Secretariat and uses the metrobus service, said many of his colleagues used the metrobus and train service for easy travel and the closure of the services was affecting their work. He said the government should address the issue of the closure of both the travel facilities. He said it had become a common practice of protestors, regardless of their political or religious affiliations, to block the metrobus service, causing sufferings for the commuters.

“I have to use motorcycle from Chungi Amar Sidhu to reach my office in the Civil Secretariat,” he said.

On Saturday, a city district administration team, led by Deputy Commissioner Umer Sher Chattha, visited various areas of the city and removed hurdles from the roads, which were put to block the traffic.

The DC ordered removal of the hurdles and opening of all the roads, including the road from Scheme Mor to Dubai Chowk of Iqbal Town and from Kharak Nullah to Liaqat Chowk besides the roads in Gulshan-i-Ravi, Samanabad, Yateem Khana, Data Darbar and Ring Road.

Earlier, the city traffic authorities had installed diversions on different roads of the city due to protests by the TLP. The traffic police later removed all the diversions to ease the movement of the citizens.

The DC also visited the entry and exit points of the city and ordered removal of the hurdles.

The situation in the provincial metropolis turned to normal after the protestors of the banned organisation left it and started marching towards Islamabad on the GT Road.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2021

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