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August 15, 2020

Security reviewed after mismanagement at BRT stations


August 15, 2020

PESHAWAR: Security was reviewed in view of mismanagement on the first day after the opening of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the provincial capital.

A number of people were seen creating a mess at stations, routes and buses and many demanded a proper security system to protect the expensive structure.

The footage of various stations showed how the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Covid-19 as well as security protocols at stations and on routes of the buses were violated by a large number of people. Most of the violators were the youth, who were out in droves, to celebrate the Independence Day.

Several roads in the capital city remained blocked when the youth was celebrating the day. Many youngsters were seen visiting stations of the BRT.

The expensive transport project was inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday. The previous provincial government had launched the project, claiming it would be completed in six months. It drew criticism as it took around three years. The authorities said its scheduled time was three years and the six months was mere a political claim by the then chief minister.

Though CCTV cameras are installed all over the BRT routes and stations, many asked for proper security so the public not only followed the SOPs, but the expensive machinery at stations, buses and other equipment could be protected.

The CCTV footage also showed the pathetic condition of washrooms only a day after the opening of the service. People were also seen in a video, the date of which could not be verified, scaling the fences to cross the road.

Besides, a group of boys celebrating Independence Day were seen attacking security guards of the BRT. The guards were thrashed and tortured after they probably tried to stop the group of people from creating the mess.

Scores of people looked on as the guards were being roughed up while a few rushed to rescue them. Superintendent of Police, City, Waqar Kharal said the videos were being examined to identify the attackers.

He added the officials concerned were in contact with security in-charge.

An official said that two of those, who attacked BRT guards, have been identified and arrested. The official said a case has been registered and the rest of the accused would be identified and arrested soon. Senior Superintendent of Police Mansoor Aman and Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ali Asghar visited various stations of the BRT after reports of attacks and mismanagement.

They asked the officials to upgrade security to prevent damage to the structure. An official statement late Friday said there have been incidents recorded at multiple stations and buses since yesterday.

“We are monitoring every minute of the service and shall inform everyone that ZU Peshawar services are designed to cater to transport needs for the public.

In coordination with the security forces, we will take strict action against the culprits and wrongdoers. Please take responsibility to protect this service and avoid any damage,” it said.