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People leaving for hometowns irked by lockdown

PESHAWAR: The people leaving for hometowns to celebrate the upcoming Eidul Fitr with families were irked by the suspension of inter-city and inter-district transport due to the lockdown.

The government has imposed a lockdown from 8 to May 16 and closed the bus stands from May 10 including Haji Camp Adda, Lahore Adda on GT Road, Charsadda Adda, Kohat Adda besides all others small stands inside the city.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service has also been closed since May 8 and the ban on the inter-city and inter-district transport multiplied problems of people moving within the city as well as those leaving for their respective districts for Eid holidays.

Keeping in view the rush of passengers and lack of public transport on main roads, the rickshaw and taxi drivers overcharged the customers and a number of people were seen exchanging arguments with them.

The annoyed passengers observed that closing down business and transport was not the solution to tacking the Covid-19 pandemic.

They asked the rulers to provide relief to people and allow transport facilities so that they could reach their destinations while adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The transporters running rent a car business and taking passengers in luxurious vehicles to far-flung areas including Dir, Bajaur, Swat, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu and Punjab have increased fares and those who could not afford paying high fares demanded action against the owners. Despite the lockdown and the ban on business, mixed reaction was observed inside Peshawar city and Cantonment where several shops remained open.

However, a complete lockdown was observed in the markets on the University Road and Hayatabad. Though the main bazaars including Qissa Khwani, New Muslim Meena Bazaar, Chowk Nasir Khan (Koochi Bazaar), Karimpura Bazaar remained closed, many shopkeepers were seen waiting for customers.

The shopkeepers said they managed to sell items to customers within this strict lockdown. They said they had to live in the existing situation, saying they would do business and save themselves from fine and coronavirus.

The shopkeepers urged the people to join hands with the authorities to help combat the deadly virus by following the SOPs and wearing facemasks.