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August 15, 2020

BRT ride – a gift for entertainment-starved youths, children on I-Day

Peshawar

August 15, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Bus Rapid Transit ride is probably the best 14th August gift for the entertainment-starved youth and children of the provincial capital who have flocked to the BRT stations to get their cards.

Scores of people, including women and children, are seen in long queues on the BRT station at Saddar to get a ride on the bus. Some passengers, who were trying to board the bus for their return journey, were stopped at the station from getting on the bus and were told to get fresh tickets. The stations’ employees were busy explaining to the excited teenagers and elderly people that the tickets were for a one-way ride and they had to purchase another ticket to board the bus.

Although the passengers were not unruly, the staff were facing difficulties to handle such a huge number of people. The station manager had a short conversation with his senior who had requested someone on his WhatsApp messenger for deployment of police personnel. The Station Manager, who identified himself as Mohsin, was constantly on the move and was guiding the passengers and instructing his employees.

He told this scribe that his shift had started at 2pm, adding that during this period more than 600 cards were sold at the Saddar Station that these did not include the one ride tickets. The passengers without facemasks were disallowed to enter the station. The excited teenagers and children accompanying their parents without facemasks had created an opportunity for the children selling masks to earn a decent amount by selling masks for Rs20 apiece. The station employees were instructing the passengers on how to punch their cards for reaching the busses whose arrival and departure timing were displayed on the screen at the station.

Hukim Shah, hailing from Hangu district, told this scribe that he had come to Peshawar to get a ride on the bus. He said that he had been waiting at the station for more than two hours to get his card. Another passenger Zardad Khan, resident of Nauthia locality in the provincial capital, said that he had been waiting for more than an hour to get his card. An Afghan refugee Tariq was standing at a corner at the station probably waiting for an opportunity to get information on how to get his card. After waiting for some time, he approached the station manager and told him that he was an Afghan refugee and wanted to ride the bus. He was told that he could use his refugee card for securing his BRT card. A teenager Alauddin holding his card said that he had got his card at Tehkal station in two minutes. Sikandar Nisar, a station employee, said that the rush was probably due to the 14th August as everyone was out to celebrate Independence Day.