Out on the roads: A big yellow taxi protest

They were holding banners and shouted slogans against the government and the traffic police


Our Correspondent March 14, 2016
Members of Rickshaw Driver Union chant slogans for the acceptance of their demands outside Peshawar Press Club. PHOTO: PPI

PESHAWAR:


Yellow cab and rickshaw drivers in the city protested outside Peshawar Press Club on Monday against the traffic police and the cost of route permits.  They said these actions were slowly eating into their wages.


The taxi drivers complained they were also not allowed to stop on the roads for passengers; if they do so, they are fined thousands of rupees.

“No action is taken against vehicles with no permits. [These actions against] yellow cab drivers with permits worth thousands of rupees compel them to leave the city,” Naeem Khan Khalil, the president of taxi drivers and workers union, said. Khalil added a single stop leads to a fine of as much as Rs5,000.

Hail it right

“Our main demand is that authorities immediately ban vehicles that do not have permits and allow cabs with permits to continue their work,” Khalil said. He was speaking on behalf of the demonstrating drivers gathered outside the press club. He said only the yellow cab drivers were being treated badly as drivers of other taxis were not stopped and were allowed, despite majority of them not having route permits. “This is tantamount to imposing ban on movement of yellow cabs on the city roads,” Khalil added, while addressing the protesters.



One of the protesters said the yearly tax on route permit in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was Rs6,630, although in other provinces the tax is Rs1,400. Protesters also said in other provinces, the fine for not getting permits renewed is Rs200 while in K-P the fine is Rs530.

They were holding banners and shouted slogans against the government and the traffic police. Dozens of drivers took out a rally from Suri Bridge, passed through Sher Shah Suri and Mall roads, and stopped at the press club. They had even partially blocked traffic on Sher Shah Suri Road during the protest.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2016.

 

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