Rawalpindi - Assistant Commissioner Gujar Khan Nadia Pervin Sudhan has said that the authorities concerned have decided to register all the rickshaws plying in the city through a legal process.

“This step is being taken by district government to avoid any mishap during the current volatile security situation in the country. Gujar Khan main bazaar is always packed with shoppers and vehicles and the terrorists can take advantage of this rush to play havoc with public lives and property,” she said. She expressed these views while talking to The Nation on Tuesday on issue of tug of war between the traders and rickshaw drivers in Gujar Khan main bazaar.

Sudhan said that the ongoing security situation of country was not much satisfactory and the anti-social elements could attack the packed public places. She said that the district administration has decided to register all the rickshaw drivers in a bid to avoid any crunch moment.

Replying to a query, she said that the controversy between traders of Gujar Khan and rickshaw drivers have been resolved while a 3-member committee has also been constituted to remove the apprehensions of both parties. She said that a brawl occurred between traders and rickshaw owners over entrance of rickshaws in main bazaar during peak hours. The traders approached police and a case was filed against the rickshaw drivers with arrest of one accused, she said adding that this fuelled fire and the rickshaw owners staged a protest demo and threatened that they would not allow any trader to open his shop in bazaar. She said that she made a code of conduct according to which no rickshaw would be allowed to enter the bazaar from 8:00am to 9:00pm. She said that she has also allocated two points for rickshaw drivers for picking and dropping passengers.

On the other hand, sources confided to The Nation that a group of 15 rickshaw drivers used to tease people after drinking alcohol and receiving money from the poor shopkeepers of Sukho Road. Sources said that the situation got tense when some traders started opposing rickshaw drivers and brought the matter into the notice of police. On this a brawl occurred between traders and rickshaw owners, sources added. District Coordination Officer (DCO) also took notice of the issue and directed AC Gujar Khan to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, police and Regional Transport Authority (RTA) have failed to enforce reduced pubic transport fares announced after cut in prices of petroleum products.

According to commuters, transporters continue to overcharge, while they are unable to force them to receive the revised fares because the traffic police are not interested and the officials of the RTC are never seen checking of fares on different routes. They said many transport vehicles do not even display fare lists.

The Punjab government has issued revised transport fare lists for every route after reduction in price of petroleum products. However, it is not being practiced in public transport, which means, people could not get actual relief of cut in prices of petroleum products.

As for the routes operating from Raja Bazaar, Rawalpindi, Suzuki drivers are continuing to fleece the passengers with old fares. Likewise, wagons in different routes also overcharge with impunity. Thus, transporters are charging the travellers with the same old fares.

Citizens have demanded of district administration, police, and regional transport administration to ensure implementation of the  reduced transport fares.