Eid Shopping

Last minute shopping gains momentum

By Jamil Khan | KARACHI

LAST-minute shopping is a sine qua non of Eid in Pakistan and this one is no different, as on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha, all major commercial centers of the city were thronged by shoppers, amid the usual beefed up security measures and lax traffic arrangements.

The last minute rush was seen at all major hubs such as Tariq Road, University Road, Super Market, Meena Bazaar, Bohri Bazaar, Zainab Market, Hyderi, Nazimabad, K-Area Market, Babar Market and various areas of DHA.

The overall arrangements in the various commercial areas of DHA were markedly better than the rest of the city, where the lack of ample parking spaces led to major traffic congestion. At Tariq Road and Bahadurabad, the situation left much to be desired, although, every year, the association of traders and the Jamshed Town administration make efforts to make the thoroughfare a traffic-free zone.

Furthermore, the Lighthouse Market, which is a haven for the middle class, with more than 90 percent of the shops serving as showrooms for China manufactured goods, witnessed the usual hustle and bustle. However, the market too suffered the nuisances associated with the Eid rush and shoppers were left extremely displeased. Moreover, many of the centers were also affected by the accumulated stagnant rainwater and overflowing gutters.

Despite the presence of law enforcement personnel, including the traffic police, visitors blatantly flouted parking laws, using any available spaces including footpaths and roundabouts, to park their four-wheelers and two-wheelers. Javed Zafar, a shopkeeper in Zainab Market, complained that the illegal parking was leading to major problems for pedestrians. “A number of shopkeepers of the area had approached the traffic police regarding the illegal parking but they refused to pay any heed to our complaints,” he said.

However, Zafar’s claims were refuted by a traffic constable, Rehan, who stated that it was, more or less, impossible for a handful of officials to manage the extraordinary flow of traffic. Though, his explanation stands true, it only goes to show the thorough lack of planning on the part of the police, city government, town administrations and all other municipal authorities. In many city areas, a major portion of roads and footpaths have also been encroached upon by vendors looking to cash in on the festive season, although, they too have to bribe the local officials for permission to do so.

– Published in Daily Times | Dec 09, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on December 11, 2008.

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