City set to go to polls tomorrow

LAHORE: The City Traffic Police Lahore (CTPL) has issued a diversion plan for traffic on July 24 and July 25 for General Elections 2018.

The plan was devised during a meeting held at the office of DIG Operations Lahore. It was presided over by Chief Traffic Police Officer (CTO) Liaqat Malik and attended by SSP Operations Asad Sarfaraz Khan, SP Traffic City Asif Siddique, SP City Operations Ehsanullah, DSP Islampura, and DSP Traffic Anarkali Circle Iqbal Hameed.

The meeting focused on the flow of traffic on roads and chowks adjacent to the Election Commission of Pakistan on July 24 and July 25.

Due to security concerns, the meeting decided to close down a few roads on those days. The CTO said traffic police will keep the public informed through the media, their own social media and the RASTA app.

According to the plan, the road from Katchery Chowk to Chauburji, including PMG Chowk, Civil Secretariat Chowk and MAO College will remain closed.

Government officials sort out polling material at the sessions court before dispatching them to the relevant polling stations. PHOTO: ONLINE

T-crossing Laj Road to Civil Defence Chowk Band Road, Jain Mandir to MAO College, MAO College to Orthopedic to Sanda Road to Sessions Court Lahore and Neeli Bar to Civil Secretariat Chowk Road will remain closed.

Traffic from Saggian to District Kutchery Chowk will be diverted to alternate routes.

According to the plan, traffic coming from Ferozpur Road and Lytton Road will be diverted to the Old Anarkali Chowk. Vehicles from Board of Revenue chowk will be diverted to Istanbul Chowk, Mall Road and Kutchery.

Those traveling from Multan Road will be diverted to Chauburji Chowk and from Chauburji to Lake Road, Jain Mandir and Old Anarkali. Traffic from Azadi Flyover will be diverted to Bhatti Chowk, District Kutchery. Vehicles from Band Road will be diverted to Double Sadkan Road, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Samanabad and Ichra.

The CTO asked voters to park their vehicles away from polling stations. He also urged citizens to abstain from going the wrong way and illegal parking. He advised motorists to seek guidance over diversion points.

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The officer said commuters should avoid travelling to the Civil Secretariat and Lower Mall. He asked them to listen to RASTA FM, consult the RASTA App and call 15 for guidance.

Meanwhile, the Police Response Unit (PRU) and Dolphin Squad issued their patrolling plan. DIG Operations Shahzad Akbar said teams of the Dolphin Squad and PRU will take control of the roads from 7am onwards.

He said that there are 3,673 polling stations established in 1,737 buildings. He added a team of the Dolphin Squad would make a circle around 10 buildings and the Dolphin Squad around five buildings. Akbar further stated that the Anti-Riot Force will remain on alert to respond to any untoward incident.

He said the Dolphin Squad SP will be in charge of patrolling.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Safe Cities Authority and Lahore Police completed security arrangements for the elections. The Safe Cities Authority’s technical team trained 2,000 Lahore Police officials on the efficient use of 4G-LTE handsets.

After the completion of the one-week training course, the authority has handed over 1,700 modern 4G-LTE handsets to the Lahore Police. As of now, the total number of handsets has reached 3500 and this will help improve the overall security situation during polls.

Lahore Police will be able to receive real-time information and footage from all polling stations of the city. They will also be able to establish contact through audio, video calls, conference calls and send video evidence when required.

Punjab Safe Safety Authority’s LTE handsets run on its indigenous 4G network for Punjab Police. These modern handsets are used to establish contact through audio, video calls, conference calls and emergency calls.

Lahore Police is also interconnected through modern communication. As per the spokesperson, Punjab Safe Cities Authority is there for complete support and guidance for law enforcement agencies during the elections. Citizens are requested to Dial 15 in case of any emergency and PSCA Teams will be arrive for assistance.

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Security arrangements in Bahawalpur

Security arrangements have been finalised to conduct free and fair election in the Bahawalpur region, said Regional Police Officer Bahawalpur Muhammad Faisal Rana.

Talking to The Express Tribune on Monday, he said 70 cases have been registered and action has been taken, without discrimination, against violators of the code of conduct. Around 4,321 polling stations have been established throughout the region.

He shared that 224 polling stations have been declared as ‘A’ class sensitive. Closed-Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) will be installed at sensitive polling stations for   monitoring purposes. Approximately 138 companies of the Pakistan Army, four companies of Rangers and more than 25,000 personnel of Bahawalpur police will perform security duty on Election Day.

He said a zero-tolerance policy had been adopted over the violation of the code of conduct.

At least 120 people have been arrested in 70 cases. Of these, 46 cases were registered in Bahawalpur, 15 in Bahawalnagar and nine cases in Rahim Yar Khan. As many as 20 cases are against PML-N, 11 against PPP, 18 against PTI and 21 cases against independent candidates or other political parties.

He said total of 4,321 polling stations have been established of which 224 are ‘A’ class, 705 are ‘B’ class and 3,392 are ‘C’ class. He added foolproof security arrangements have been finalised.

All voters will enter after being checked by a metal detector. Around 224 walkthrough gates, 929 metal detectors and 1,344 CCTV cameras have been installed for security at sensitive polling stations.

He added 160 mock exercises have also been carried out to check the performance of law enforcement agencies.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2018.

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