Islamabad - The public transport system in the federal capital is adding to the miseries of commuters, according to a survey by The Nation.

Bilal Ahmed, an employee in a private Information Technology (IT) firm travels to Islamabad six days a week from Wah. And daily he has to face the same difficulties while reaching to his office, situated at F-6.

“I travelled almost every route on public transport, before and after the metro bus service, and reached to conclusion that this city belongs to one who can afford his own private car,” said Bilal.

“But in a limited salary, it has remained a dream for me for last five years of my job and has to depend on public transport,” he added.

Public transport that usually provides transportation to ordinary citizens, gives a deplorable image in the city which is the home place of nearly five million people. And thousands of people daily enter in the city from different routes for jobs and other purpose.

Though the metro bus service has provided a relief to the public but reaching to metro bus is still a problem, while the sectors away from facility are in need of attention. Bilal said that around 20 minutes drive from GT road stop to Zero Point on Kashmir Highway is not less than an odyssey.

“The way transporter treats you and fix you in their vehicle couldn’t be explained because it is not only thorny but also humiliating,” he said.

The government has allowed the permit to private vehicle owners to commute along Kashmir Highway. The service is a facility for people entering in city that have to reach interchange of metro bus service but they way vehicles carry the commuters is a misery for them.

“Drivers have removed the original seating arrangements in the vehicle and replaced it with benches,” said Bilal.

Though according to capacity of vehicle, it can carry six people but 9 to 10 commuters are adjusted in a small space.

“They do it for profiteering but authority doesn’t take any action for people,” said Bilal.

In other areas of the city, transporters do not meet their responsibilities either by shortening their routes or by not observing the timing. Moreover, people are commonly found complaining regarding behaviour of drivers and call it boorish and unethical.

Ill-treatment of women commuters, damage to attire, suffering injuries, non-standardisation of bus fares, travelling standing, and a fear of the gas cylinder explosions are normal challenges for a person who has no other way to avoid public transport system.

Scuffle between passenger and conductor on the issue of van fare is not uncommon.

Shamraiz, a passenger told the Nation that sometimes he had to pay more than fixed amount of fare because van drivers hide the fare list issued by Regional Transport Authority (RTA), by not displaying it on the windscreen. He was of the view that public drivers not only overload their vans forcefully but also violate traffic rules incessantly.

Deteriorating public transport system of Islamabad particularly affects employees and students negatively.

Azmat, a student of a local university said that he most of the time misses his morning classes because he has to wait for hours at bus stop.

Talking to the Nation, an officer of Islamabad traffic police, Malik Saleem said that new double Decker buses would be introduced and replaced with existing vans on local routes so that little number of buses can accommodate more people that would also result into reduction of carbon emissions.

“Current situation can be improved by inculcating a sense of duty and responsibility among drivers through organising different workshops and training camps,” he added.


hassan shah & asfand yar