Transportation Crises!

Transport%20Crises.jpgCommuters faced problems as traffic police in collaboration with the Regional Transport Authority started impounding vehicles across Punjab to meet the ruling party plan of taking some 500,000 people to Islamabad for the May 12 rally. According to Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, 60,000 buses, wagons and cars will head from Islamabad from 35 districts of the province.

While all of this was going on in the name of people, by the people, for the people, the commuters of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad faced hardships to reach their destinations on Wednesday as a majority of the transporters took their vehicles off the roads fearing that the government would seize them for the public rally called by the ruling party on May 12 in the federal capital.

A great rush of commuters was observed at bus stops in various parts of the twin cities due to shortage of public transport. They had to hire taxies for reaching their destinations and the cab drivers overcharged from them exploiting the situation.

Can you believe it that government itself has become the biggest rouge factor for the hardships of common people who have to travel by public transport. As you would imagine the transport system is already in shambles and to compound the situation we have the latest development where the government has asked the Rawalpindi Transport Authority and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration to seize 1,500 and 300 public transport vehicles respectively for pick and drop to the participants of the rally to be held at the Pakistan Day parade venue in front of the President House. Special teams have been constituted to seize the vehicles. The regional transport authority had paid the amount in advance to the owners of public transport for the public rally. They have been paid Rs 3,500, Rs 2,500 and Rs 1,500 per day for buses, mini busses and vans respectively. While the prevailing market rate is at least double the price. Talk about plunder at the hands of guardians of our nation!

Some people had to wait for two hours at Faizabad bus stop to get a public transport vehicle for reaching their offices. Others had to wait for the public transport for an hour at the District Courts Bus Stop and ultimately had to hire cabs to reach their homes. It is surprising that the government is holding a rally just to express confidence in President Pervez Musharraf without taking in consideration the problems of people.

It is surprising to know that despite the government itself being involved in this “show of so called power” no alternate contingency planning has been done for the commuters. As people already know the sorry state of roads in the Capital these days due to long delayed construction projects. After all these are the fruits of “economic development” that the nation has to reap. As president himself stated in a rally that load shedding in the country is due to rapid economic progress in Pakistan!

So how do you gather such a big crowd. Simple, you pay them, most probably from the national exchequer and the tax payer money. Those who can’t pay those taxes have to pay in terms of huge debts taken by the government, or the hefty foreign exchange. So it is known that PML would pay Rs 1,000 to each participant of the rally besides providing them with lunch boxes. The PML office-bearers in the rural areas have been asked that besides food and soft drinks a night’s stay will be provided to all party workers on Friday. It’s time to party I guess!

And all of this should go ahead with military precision right? You bet. Nazims would display a banner of their respective union council with his name on the buses. Separate parking stands will be set up at various locations in Islamabad, and every district representative will park his vehicles in the allotted space.

Now that’s what I call A- Class planning, for all the right reasons.

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