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November 13, 2020

Bus stand sealed; licence cancelled

Lahore

November 13, 2020

LAHORE:District administration sealed and cancelled the licence of a renowned private general bus stand situated at Bund Road allegedly to favour a “close” friend of Deputy Commissioner Lahore who is in the same business.

However, Deputy Commissioner Mudassar Riaz rejected this allegation and said the action was initiated against all D-class bus stands and three stands which were not following the rules and regulations were sealed while notices were issued to all the other private bus stands situated on the same road.

Arshad Niazi, owner of Niazi Bus Stand on Bund Road, alleged that a team of district administration sealed his stand besides cancelling his licence to operate the bus stand, which was valid till 31 December, 2020.

He said the incident took place on 7 November, 2020 and interestingly when he and his brothers met Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, the administration issued him a show cause notice on 9 November, 2020. “The district government first sealed my stand and cancelled licence and when they realised that they made a mistake by cancelling the licence without a show cause, they issued me a show cause notice after two days of the incident,” Arshad Niazi said while talking with the scribe. He alleged that the DC was a close friend of one of his competitors and he carried out all this activity to give favour to his family friend.

Over a question, he said he had approached all the relevant forums, including the Commissioner Lahore, Punjab Governor and Punjab Assembly Speaker but in vain.

“First the transport authority told us to contact Anti-Corruption DG and on our question that what the Anti-Corruption DG had to do with cancellation of bus stand licence, they told us to contact Punjab Chief Secretary, which again is an irrelevant forum,” Niazi said adding the DC Lahore was also contacted by several government ministers but he didn’t listen to any of them.

He said the administration was demanding him to provide a 20-year-old building approval map, which he told them that they already had this map in their record and they could check it from their own record. He said that during Musharraf regime when terrorism incidents were occurring, then administration directed all bus stands to construct controlled entry and exit points for security reasons so they constructed walls and divided the land into two different portions. He said some two years back the administration sent him a letter to demolish the walls on which he replied that administration that the walls were constructed due to security reasons and if the administration was ready to provide security the bus stand management would demolish the walls. He said after that reply no one contacted him. Answering a question about running extra buses, he said if he was running extra buses then under the law administration could detain those buses only. He alleged that personal venom of DC Lahore was openly seen in this case.

When contacted, the Deputy Commissioner Lahore said the allegation of favouring a close family friend was completely baseless and only to pressurise him. He said three stands were sealed on Bund Road while notices were served on all the remaining private stands.

Over a question that why a show cause notice was given to Niazi Bus Stand after sealing and cancellation of their licence, the DC said that under the law the administration had powers to first seal and cancel the licence and later give a show cause notice.

He said owners of Niazi Bus stand had divided their land into two portions and were running two bus stands while they had a licence for one stand. “Secondly, they are running over 200 extra buses,” The DC said adding during the visit it was also found that corona SOPs were not followed. The DC said that the administration would seal and cancel licence of every bus stand, which failed in implementing corona SOPs as well as not operating the stand as per law and the clauses of the licence.

Over a question that if the administration will close down all private bus stands the city may witness a transport crises, the DC replied that simple solution of this was that the private stands should follow the terms and conditions of their licences.