The Big Ethnic Chowks of Khanewal

The chowks (roundabouts) of Khanewal are unique constructions that contribute in their own humble way to the road infrastructure and possibly to the city’s bustling culture, but there is more than meets the eye. On the one hand they have been formed from a deep love stemming sometimes from religion and sometimes from patriotism, on the other hand they also depict the deep hate between the sects of Islam that have emerged out of sheer ignorance. There’s a real fight over naming the Chowk. Each sect wants to name it after their own sectarian beliefs within Islam, like Chowk ahl-e-hadees, Chowk ahl-e-sunat etc.

The second issue of concern is that the size of Chowks are bigger than the roads, which instead of helping the traffic, makes taking rounds rather difficult. You hardly see two lanes in one chowk, so only one lane of cars go around the chowk at any given time. At another chowk in a similar city the norm is three or two lanes so the traffic is actually accommodated. This is not the case here.

I wonder if they even comply with the civil/municipal laws regarding roads!

Interestingly, people do not agree that they are proper roundabouts so they do not abide by the traffic rules pertaining to them. In my opinion the diameter of the chowks could be decreased so as to make them effective. Moreover, they should be announced as proper traffic roundabouts so that  people drive by the rules…

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