Police and rickshaw drivers clashed in Peshawar during the second consecutive day of the protest against the plan to introduce a day-night shift system for rickshaws, while CNG stations remained closed throughout Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Strike rickshaw drivers
The president of the Rickshaw Drivers Union and six others were arrested when they clashed with police at Faqirabad Bridge, while attempting to stage a sit-in on the bridge.
SSP Traffic Najeebur Rehman told The Express Tribune that the drivers have agreed to the colour scheme and decided to end the strike. In the first phase, white and yellow colours will be issued to approximately 10,000 rickshaws. “The remaining rickshaws would be registered within an agreed time limit and no new rickshaws would be allowed on the roads.” The union has confirmed the agreement.
Over 600 CNG stations remained closed in the provincial capital, while in Abbottabad as the CNG strike entered the second day, petrol stations ran short of fuel, further compounding the frustrations of commuters in Hazara division on Tuesday.
There were few public transport vehicles on the roads throughout the day. Transporters doubled their fares causing scuffles between drivers and passengers.
Petrol stations in the three major cities of Hazara briefly ran out of fuel forcing transporters to momentarily abandon their vehicles. Though the petrol stations were later restocked it was at the cost of higher fuel rates for transporters.
All Pakistan CNG Association Chairman Parvaiz Khattak said the strike would continue till their demands were met. He added that the additional home secretary had assured them that their demands would be forwarded to the federal government.
With additional reporting from Muhammad Sadaqat in Abbottabad
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2012.