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September 27, 2020

Haphazard stopping of public transport

Islamabad

September 27, 2020

Rawalpindi : All public transport vehicles stop to pick up and drop off passengers at places of their own choice, thus putting the passengers at risk.

“If you have missed your morning fitness exercise and you reside in Rawalpindi, don’t sweat. Just try to get into any public transport, be it a bus, a wagon, a flying coach or a Suzuki van, at any bus stop during rush hours. You will do enough jogging and sweating to last the entire day,” says Hamid Hasan.

“Owing to a lack of proper bus stops, passengers in areas such as Chungi No. 22, Saddar, Jhandaha Cheechy, Rahimabad, Fauji Tower, PAF, Sultanpura, Shah Khalid Colony, Gulzar-e-Quaid, Chandni Chowk, National Market, Kali Tanki, Haidery Chowk, College Chowk, Siddique Chowk, National Bank and Pindora Chungi route, are put to severe hardship,” says Azmat Ali.

“It is difficult to predict where exactly a vehicle will stop. Every time a vehicle arrives, passengers, irrespective of their age, run after it, risking their lives on the busy main road,” says Sibtain Rizvi.

“As all vehicles stop right next to the traffic junction — it is where the bus stand is actually located — drivers seldom care about the travellers’ safety and drive away soon after the green signal at the junction. Incidents of women and aged persons getting hurt while boarding public transport are common here,” adds Sibtain.

“Despite the fact that there is enough space for the vehicles to stop, all public transport vehicles come to a halt in a haphazard way, thus causing traffic blockage, especially during peak hours,” says Junaid Imam.

“Lack of an inquiry counter and name boards specifying bus routes have only added to the confusion. Passengers, especially those who are new to the city, have to depend on drivers and conductors to guide them to board the right bus. A simple lapse on the part of the passenger and he might land up in an unknown area of the city,” says Mujahid Hussain.

“Passengers living on Shahrah-e-Faisal Avenue have to walk up to the Koral, which is about one km from there to get Islamabad transport. Vehicles of other routes are found here. The Shahrah-e-Faisal Avenue bus stops are of little use as a very small number of vehicles ply from these points despite the great demand for public transport,” says Hamayat Ali.

“Catching a vehicle at Koral Chowk is too challenging a task. Nowhere is it specified as to which vehicle should stop where and hence the vehicles stop everywhere! We have to run after them amidst heavy traffic, risking our lives,” says Anwer Raza.

Asim Zaidi says: “On many roads of the city there is no shelter for passengers to wait nor there a public toilet. Civic authority has no time to solve passengers’ problems.”