How many people in the rally?

November 3rd, 2007 by Shakir Lakhani

I have been wondering why PPP supporters have been claiming that three million people participated in the rally which welcomed BB on 18th October. There is a method to calculate the number of people in any procession, and I can say with certainty that less than a hundred thousand people were there. I base my calculations on the fact that the procession was only a kilometer and a half in length, and that a kilometer can accommodate only fifty buses (most of those participating in the rally were brought there in buses). That works out to seventy five buses in the procession or seven thousand five hundred people (since you can’t fit more than a hundred people in and on top of a bus). Even if we take a hundred and fifty buses in the procession (highly unlikely), that means fifteen thousand came to the rally in the buses. If we further assume that there were two thousand cars (with five people in each), together with ten thousand motorcycles (with two people on each), we arrive at a figure of forty five thousand participants. That’s less than half a lakh. OK, let’s assume that twenty five thousand residents living in the houses along the route of the procession also came out to gape at BB. The total is now seventy thousand.

Another way is to work out how many people can be squeezed into the space occupied by the participants. Since the there were seventy five buses and two thousand cars (let’s ignore the motorcycles), only fifty feet width was available to the people on the kilometer and a half of Sharae Faisal. A human being needs at least four square feet when standing or walking, and a kilometer and a half of a fifty foot wide road is equal to two hundred fifty thousand square feet. Dividing this by four (the space needed by a man), the number of people who were in the rally works out to be sixty two thousand five hundred. Nowhere near the three million claimed by the party officials!

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