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Tuesday Apr 13 2021

Protests by religious party continue across Pakistan for second day, disturb traffic

  • Traffic normalising in most areas across Pakistan, but several areas in major cities still affected by religious party protests.
  • In Punjab, health dept worried over a shortage of oxygen tanks for coronavirus patients due to road closures.
  • Major chunk of protests is taking place in Lahore.

Major sit-ins by a religious party which severely disrupted traffic and had thousands of people stranded for hours a day earlier started to wrap up Tuesday morning.

The protests are, however, continuing for a second day, but are limited to certain areas. The chunk of the protests are taking place in Lahore. 

Read more: Flights delayed as passengers fail to reach airport due to traffic jams

You can get updates on the traffic in major cities below. Last updated at 3:35pm on Tuesday.

The situation in Karachi

In Karachi, three areas have been closed for traffic today.

According to the traffic police, roads are closed in the Hub River Road area, Baldia No 4 and Korangi No 2. Meanwhile, the protest near Tower Chowk, Jinnah Bridge and Hassan Square has ended.

The last traffic alert issued by the Karachi traffic police on their Twitter was at 1:40pm Tuesday.

One update reported that three policemen were injured and an ambulance windscreen smashed in Baldia Town.

Traffic alert issued by the Karachi traffic police as of 1pm Tuesday.

Traffic alert issued by the Karachi traffic police as of 10am Tuesday.

Traffic alert from 2am Tuesday.

The situation in Islamabad

According the latest update issued by the Islamabad traffic police, the status of the major roads is as follows as of 2:30pm Tuesday afternoon.

The status of major roads as of 10:00am Tuesday morning.

The situation in Lahore

Protests are continuing in various parts of Lahore. The Lahore traffic police has repeatedly requested citizens to avoid unnecessary travel due to protests in the city, with regular updates on the traffic situation.

Update from the Punjab Safe Cities Authority as of 2pm Tuesday.

Update from the Punjab Safe Cities Authority as of 1pm Tuesday.

Update as of 8am Tuesday.

In Punjab, paramilitary forces were called in to control the situation. Bhatta Chowk in Lahore and the Shanghai flyover are closed for traffic. Murree Road in Rawalpindi has not been opened yet after Monday's protest.

In Lahore, the traffic flow was disrupted in several areas such as Chohang and Multan road due to protests. Police fired tear gas shells to disperse protesters in the Yateem Khana Chowk area.

Road status of National Highways

The National Highways and Motorway police, too, gave an update on the road blockades as of 12pm Tuesday.

What happened during Monday's protests?

During Monday's protests, several passengers failed to reach the airport.

A Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight, scheduled to fly from Karachi to Lahore, was also delayed as 40 passengers failed to reach the airport on time.

Meanwhile, a private company's plane took off for Lahore from Karachi after an hour's delay. The staff of PIA's plane schedule to fly to Dammam, Saudi Arabia, was also unable to reach the airport, sources added.

The traffic police asked citizens to take alternative routes to avoid inconvenience.

Due to Monday's protests, the traffic system on the main highways of Karachi was destroyed. After 5pm, long queues of vehicles formed at Tower, II Chundrigar Road, MA Jinnah Road, Zainab market, Governor House, Sharae Faisal, Liaquatabad and other places.

Thousands of people were stranded for hours. Due to the protest near Stargate, the flow of traffic on both the inbound and outbound tracks of the airport was suspended which made it very difficult for passengers to reach the Karachi airport. 

Due to traffic situation, the railways has given Sir Syed Express, Green Line Express and Khyber Mail a 2-minute stop at Drigh Road and Landhi so passengers going to the surrounding areas can reach their homes easily.

Shortage of oxygen tanks for coronavirus patients

In Lahore, there are fears of a shortage of oxygen tanks for coronavirus patients because of the traffic jams.

Read more: Lahore hospitals almost out of oxygen supply amid rising coronavirus cases

Gujranwala, Gujrat and Sialkot had a day's supply of oxygen left, the Punjab health department said, adding that the situation could worsen if supply was not received today (Tuesday). 

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid appealed to the protesters to give way to trucks with oxygen cylinders to save the lives of patients.

Islamabad and Rawalpindi

On Monday, Athal Chowk in Islamabad was closed for traffic, causing problems for citizens. Protests also broke out in Bhara Kahu, while roads leading to Murree and Azad Kashmir from the federal capital were also blocked for traffic.

The entry points of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi were also closed for traffic, leading to more problems for citizens of both cities.

The traffic at the Laiquat Bagh Chowk in Rawalpindi was severely affected. Earlier in the day, protesters pelted stones at buildings, causing fear and panic in the area.

Reports of protests from Jhelum, Naushehro Feroze and Multan were also received.

Meanwhile, in Faisalabad, traffic was jammed in Jaranwala, Samundari, Chak Jhumra, among other towns. Similarly, citizens in Hyderabad's Latifabad faced a massive traffic jam.

In Khuzdar, the flow of traffic at Quetta-Karachi Road had been affected as well.