By Shahjahan Khurram
KARACHI: The main road outside Bilawal House in Karachi has once again been closed for traffic despite an order by the Sindh High Court in 2013 that ordered removal of barriers from landmarks in the city.
The busy road was closed after heavy barriers and roadblocks were installed a couple of days ago, barring citizens from accessing the route.
The closure of the main road has caused immense problems for residents of the area who are encountering difficulties in going to a particular hospital and to go to shops as well as eateries located on the other side of the road.
However, residents are not the only ones who have been perturbed by the recent closure of the road. Shopkeepers located just across the main road were upset as well since the barriers have an adverse effect on their business as well.
“It’s not rocket science. Citizens and commuters won’t access our shops or stores if the flow of traffic is disrupted,” said one shopkeeper. “They’d rather go elsewhere than come to our place of business owing to the hassle it causes,” he added.
The owner of another eatery located just opposite the main road was of a similar opinion. According to him, business was way better when the barriers did not exist.
“These VVIPs have always caused us pain and suffering,” he said. “Who would want to come eat at my restaurant when getting here is an added difficulty?” he asked.
In 2013, Sindh High Court had ordered removal of roadblocks from certain landmarks across Karachi that included Governor House, Chief Minister House and Bilawal House.
In 2015, the barriers were removed on the orders of PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari. The decision by the former president was taken in light of an ‘appeal’ made by Rangers to Karachiites to remove illegal barriers since they hindered movement of law enforcement agencies.
Story first published: 26th September 2017