Citizens decry deteriorating traffic conditions in capital

Capital residents demand proper public transport to do away with vehicular traffic


APP January 12, 2022
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

Increased vehicular traffic and prolonged congestion on roads due to the absence of a proper transport system is becoming a nuisance in the federal capital, as the citizens remain stranded for hours on the busiest thoroughfares of the metropolis during peak hours.

Lack of an efficient and safe public transport facility has eclipsed the capital's beauty despite the efforts being carried out by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to make the city beautiful again, said Akram Shah, a G-7/1 resident.

“Traffic jams have become a daily nuisance, and nobody wants to witness Islamabad's beautification being stuck in traffic,” he said. “It seems that the city's rush hours have extended manifold.”

Shah regretted that the behaviour and attitude of the so-called local transport conductors was discourteous.

"I once travelled from Aapbara market to Faizabad. The van conductor not only misbehaved with me, but also forced me to sit in an already full and congested van," he said.

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It is again women, children and the old who are the most vulnerable and are left at the mercy of the unaccommodating local transport.

A young girl Masooma recalled how a conductor misguided her to get on board when she intended to go in the opposite direction.

She further said that overcrowding in public transport was a major concern, and that many females including her avoided travelling in such poor facilitating modes of transport in the capital.

"The women are mostly offered the front seat with the driver, and people are stuffed into the vehicle like chickens, which is unethical and deplorable," complained a frequent traveller.

Shahid Udas highlighted that majority of the public transport in the city was not user friendly for differently-abled people. A few transgender people have also reported facing humiliation and negligence at the hands of the local transporters.

Another girl, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told APP how a van driver continuously harassed her throughout the journey. "I was sitting right next to the driver and he repeatedly touched my body while shifting the vehicle's gear lever. I tried to move away, but due to congestion and other passengers along with me, I could not help but remain silent."

Sheewar Abid, a social media user, shared that the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad had suspended the route permit of a van driver who had written derogatory and abhorring remarks intended to harass women on the windshield of his vehicles.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2022.

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