ISLAMABAD: City managers are working on installing ‘see-through’ entry gates at three main points to prevent people coming to the capital on the call of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leadership from entering the Red Zone.
Three gates would be built near Serena Hotel, Nadra Chowk and D-Chowk. The gates will remain open during normal days, but whenever marchers and protesters try to enter the Red Zone, the authorities would close them.
“This initiative is not only aimed to counter the PTI marchers, but also help deal with similar protests in future,” said an official of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
Sources said a few days ago, the high-ups of the capital police, chief commissioner, CDA Chairman retired Capt Mohammad Usman and other relevant officials held a meeting to discuss the security arrangements at the Red Zone.
The meeting agreed to install three gates in order to stop protesters from entering the Red Zone.
According to CDA sources, design work of the gates has been completed and formal construction work would start soon after completing the tendering process.
They said the gate near Serena Hotel would be 100 feet wide, the one at Nadra Chowk would be 105 feet wide and the gate near D-Chowk would be 90 feet wide.
An engineer of the CDA said once work on the gates began, it would take one month to complete the project.
About the cost, he said final estimation was being finalised, however, another officer was of the view that the project would roughly cost Rs40 million depending on the scope of work.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan has been saying for the last couple of months that he will give a call to PTI workers anytime to march towards Islamabad against the incumbent government.
Meanwhile, sources said the police and local administration were making arrangements to drop teargas shells on protesters from drones during the expected PTI’s long march.
Recently, Islamabad police had sought 30,000 police personnel from provinces and paramilitary forces to deal with the PTI’s long march and sit-in.
When contacted, a senior CDA official confirmed to Dawn that three gates would be erected to protect Red Zone.
He further said that this initiative would not only counter the expected PTI protesters but also future protests.
Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022