RAWALPINDI - Commuters suffered badly in the twin cities of Rawlpindi and Islamabad as dozens of staff members of the Metro Bus Service went on strike here on Friday and suspended the newly-inaugurated service owing to non-payment of their two months salaries by the management.

The drivers and other staffers parked metro buses at the main bus terminal, Fleshman Hotel Saddar, as well as at many other stops in twin cities and refused to provide traveling facilities to people until the management pay their wages. They also threatened to suspend the metro bus service on permanent basis if the provincial government did not release their salaries before Eidul Fitr.

The protestors were also holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the Punjab government. The employees of Metro Bus Service also protested over non-payment of salaries at Command and Control Room in Saddar and chanted slogans against the management and Punjab government.

The employees demanded of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shehbaz Sharif to take serious notice of the non-payment of salaries to them.

Though residents of twin cities were happy with the inauguration of modern transport facility, yet after one month of its operation the metro bus service hit the snag as its employees went on strike due to non-payment of salaries. Not only people remained highly worried but the entire staff of MBA seemed perturbed as they were not paid their salaries despite discharging professional duties.

Due to closure of metro bus services, people confronted with the shortage of transport and stranded at metro bus terminals for long hours but failed to avail its services due to strike of the employees.

The office goers suffered badly due to non-plying of metro buses. After coming to know about the strike by the bus employees, the people have no other option but to avail the services of public transport at high fares which were plying on service roads of Benazir Bhutto Road. Ahmed Niaz who was waiting for metro bus at Mareer Chowk Station expressed his anger over the suspension of metro bus services only after one month of its operation. “After only one month, financial problems surfaced then how the service of this transport would continue in the coming years,” he questioned.

He demanded that CM Punjab should hold inquiry into the matter. Chairman MBS Project Implementation Committee Muhammad Hanif Abbasi and Coordinator MBS Project Commissioner Zahid Saeed were not available for their comments on the suspension of metro bus service between twin cities.