Saudi traffic plans during holy period a ‘big success’

Authorities minimised hold ups on roads around Makkah's Grand Mosque.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

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Special plans put into operation in Makkah to ease traffic congestion during the Ramadan and Eid holidays were a resounding success, according to director of Makkah traffic Col. Salman Al-Jamiei.

“Regulating the movement of millions of pilgrims and visitors flocking to the Grand Mosque during the holy month is a challenging task for Makkah traffic police. The traffic plans succeeded in minimising snags on roads and streets leading to the central zone around the Grand Mosque and other places,” Al-Jamiei told Arab News.

Traffic officers booked 200 parking violations and 300 other violations of unauthorised transporting of pilgrims during the holidays, he said, adding that the police also took penal measures against 500 motorcyclists for ferrying passengers illegally.

No vehicle was allowed to enter or remain at the central zone soon after the Eid prayer in order to avoid any likely traffic problem and the same system is in force even until the filing of the report. Officers in cars and on motorcycles continuously patrol the roads to solve any traffic problem that may arise.

“After the Eid prayer, all pilgrims and those who were in itikaf (a period of retreat in a mosque, especially in the last 10 days of Ramadan) started returning home, and special traffic plans were implemented for their hassle-free movement with total success,” Al-Jamiei said.

The plans included appointing field officers to assist pilgrims and worshippers to travel in buses from their lodgings to the Grand Mosque and back, stopping any vehicle carrying pilgrims outside the entrance to the city.

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