Contrary to the claims of city managers, four out of the eight main bus stands in the federal capital have been operating illegally for the last eight years. Interior Minister Rehman Malik conceded this fact on Thursday while responding to a query during Question Hour in the National Assembly about bus stands operating without the Islamabad Transport Authority’s (ITA) permission.
However, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) officials have been claiming that no illegal bus stand are operating in the capital in what appears to be an attempt to cover up their inaction on the issue.
CDA spokesperson could not be approached for comments.
The CDA enforcement wing claims that it has conducted successful operations against illegal bus stands, but Rehman Malik stated in a written statement that the four illegal bus stands have been operating since 2003 without any attempt by the CDA to crackdown on them.
“The four bus stands — Al-Makkah Coach, New Bilal Travels, New Blue Lines and Frontier Punjab Flying Coach Bus Service — operating illegally are at Faizabad,” he said.
Malik’s reply further stated that the owners of the illegal bus stands have filed petitions in the Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi bench against the CDA and Islamabad Transport Authority’s attempts to remove them.
He said that the court had directed the CDA to provide a suitable alternative location to the illegal bus stands so that these could be removed from their present locations, which, Malik added, has been pending with the CDA since 2003, but to no avail.
A senior Islamabad administration official told The Express Tribune that the ITA was also probing the illegal Diplomatic bus stand allegedly set up by a senior CDA official near Quaid-i-Azam University.
He considers the bus stand a serious security risk.
Responding to another question, Malik said for security reasons, driving cars with tinted windows is a moving violation in the capital, and that police officers are empowered to impose fines on the violators.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2012.