As the city Rawalpindi city administration is busy putting in place stringent security measures to stop the entry of the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik workers and transporters have curtailed many public transit operations amidst closure of roads and skyrocketing prices of petroleum products have made holes in people’s pockets, it has become a challenge for the many people who still need to get around for essential tasks such as going to offices, buying food or visiting healthcare centres etc.
It has been observed that many people including businessmen, professionals and students are turning to biking and cycling as a resilient and reliable option to fill the gap. The citizens who had parked their motorcycles and bicycles in their homes have now started using them now back, while the trend of walking has also increased tremendously.
Bike and bicycle riding has become an easy option for the citizens to reach offices, educational institutions, workplaces and markets.
Motorcycles and bicycles are now also available for rent.
All main bazaars of the inner city, middle markets, shopping centres and other markets in Ganj Mandi, Sadar, Saidpur Road are open while all roads from district courts to Islamabad Khanna Pul, Gulzar Quaid and Faisal Colony have been kept open and bike-riders could be seen in these areas in large numbers.
All major commercial centres of Rawalpindi including Saddar Bazaar, Raja Bazaar, Moti Bazaar, Bara Bazaar, Kalan Bazaar, Fawara Chowk, City Saddar Road, All Arhat Markets, Vegetable Market, Ganj Mandi, Commercial Market, Iqbal Road, Kartarpura, Dangi Khoi Food Market, Jamia Masjid Road and Old Qila are fully open and people access to them on motorcycles and bicycles.
Due to the expected sit-in of the banned party, containers and heavy trolleys have been placed at all entry points leading to Murree Road, the busiest thoroughfare of Rawalpindi.
Cyclists and motorcyclists could be seen meandering through underneath the containers and from sides.
Due to the expected sit-in of the banned party, the movement of vehicles from Murrir Chowk, Hassan Chowk and Faizabad has completely been banned. However, Murree Road is open to motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Jewellers, electronics, fish, furniture markets, medical stores and laboratories, auto spare parts shops and showrooms are also fully open on Murree Road. The security of metro bus stations has been handed over to the police force from outside districts.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2021.