Feeling the heat: Public transport commuters wilting in the sun

Published: June 21, 2014
Email
“I have seen many bus stops like the one at Koral Chowk in poor condition with no walls on the side to keep the intrusive sun out, said Muhammad Hussain, who commutes by public transport. PHOTO: FILE

“I have seen many bus stops like the one at Koral Chowk in poor condition with no walls on the side to keep the intrusive sun out, said Muhammad Hussain, who commutes by public transport. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: 

Travelling by public transport in Rawalpindi is not a memorable experience in any season, but in summers it becomes unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

To add to the misery of commuters, there are no shelters for passengers at several bus stops across the city, even in the sweltering summer heat during which the maximum temperature at times surges over 47 Celsius.

“We suffer every day as we spend at least 20 to 30 minutes waiting for public transport in the summer sun. There are no buildings nearby we can walk towards for shade while we wait,” said Qamar Hussain, a resident of Dhoke Lalyal. “Commuters can be seen standing in the shade provided by a lone signboard on Airport Link Road.”

I see students suffering in the heat to catch buses said Yasmeen Taqi, a schoolteacher. The situation is unbearable for senior citizens and women she added.

We need to have more bus shelters as more and more people are using public transport and summer is in full swing she stated. “City managers should address this issue urgently.”

I have to wait for 10 to 20 minutes in the sun for public transport and have to change two vans to reach my destination. You can imagine my misery, said Nazia Batool, an employee at a private college.

“A few bus stops sans shelters can be seen along the Islamabad Expressway, said Zafar Ali Shah, a resident of Shaheen Town.

Everybody has been feeling the heat, however, things become frustrating when one is forced to wait indefinitely for public transport, he stated.

“I board the van at Mangraal bus stop for Islamabad and back. I have to stand in the scorching heat every day. There is no alternative as taxis are unaffordable,” said Munir Khokhar, a resident of Sanghar Town.

Zameer Hussain, another commuter said, “In some areas at least you have something that you can identify as a shelter, but the problem is much worse elsewhere and commuters wilt.” We are braving the heat and feel the need for shelter. These days it is so hot that people fall unconscious, he added.

“I have seen many bus stops like the one at Koral Chowk in poor condition with no walls on the side to keep the intrusive sun out, said Muhammad Hussain, who commutes by public transport.

Even the seats are broken and litter is strewn everywhere, he stated. “There is no bus shelter from Defence Chowk up to the district courts, and even all the way to the airport.”

Mazhar Ali, a commuter at the Pindora Chongi bus stop, described his predicament in the following words, “It is perhaps our destiny to be forever deprived of shade.”

Considering the Airport Link Road has key bus stops like Dhoke Muhammad Khan, Dhoke Hafiz, Shah Khalid Colony, Fazal Town, Faisal Town, Gulzar-e-Quaid, for Islamabad-bound public transport, the lack of bus shelters is inexcusable, he added.

Mrs. Hamdani, an employee at a private company said, “There is no shelter anywhere near the Katarian bus stop at IJ Principal Road and I have to wait at a shop some metres away. Wen my flying coach arrives, I run to catch it.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2014.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (11)

  • Miss Shazee
    Jun 23, 2014 - 1:25PM

    The city authorities are fond of testing people’s stamina in the sizzling summer heat every year by not providing bus stops with proper shelters. The situation may become tougher in the coming Ramadan month with already low body fluids to withstand the unbearable direct sun for more than a few minutes.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahmad
    Jun 23, 2014 - 9:29PM

    City authorities have got their priorities wrong, as several bus shelters are set up with an eye on advertisement revenue rather than passengers’ convenience.

    Recommend

  • Shazia Tahir
    Jun 23, 2014 - 9:33PM

    There are no bus shelters and commuters are put to severe hardship. I am surprised why the concerned authorities pay no attention to this public discomfort. Over the past 20 years I have seen weaker initiatives to provide sheltered bus stops in the city.

    Recommend

  • Saba Javeed
    Jun 23, 2014 - 9:36PM

    An efficient public transport system in the city means proper stops that could at least offer passengers the opportunity to sit and wait for public transport. Go around the city and observe, you’ll not find even a single a proper bus stop.

    Recommend

  • Salmaan Omar
    Jun 25, 2014 - 12:17AM

    We have no protection whatsoever from heat. Not to talk of the shelter-less stops in the city where children, women and elderly people have to stand as there is no arrangement for passengers to sit, we are more worried about the heated-up prices of commodities in the month of Ramazan. This heat may make us more vulnerable than the summer heat.

    Recommend

  • Bushra Shakoor
    Jun 25, 2014 - 11:00PM

    It is not only the people who are shelter-less in this city, even shelters are shelter-less here.Recommend

  • Sheikh Habib
    Jun 27, 2014 - 1:26PM

    There is absolutely no planning or policy when it comes to the number of bus-stop shelters to be built at a particular point like Airport Link Road where public transport drivers stop according to their whims and fancies. In fact, there are no shelters at all in most of the so-called bus-stops. There cannot be a worse hardship, a commuter can face while waiting for a public transport for a long time.

    Recommend

  • Zahid Hussain
    Jun 27, 2014 - 1:36PM

    It’s very confusing for the people who wait for the public transport under the scorching sun of summer as they do not know where the wagon will stop. In such cases, we might miss the public transport and not reach the office in time. When we wait for the wagon at a certain point, it might stop ahead at the next point.Recommend

  • Shafqat Abbas
    Jun 29, 2014 - 7:24PM

    Why don’t the authorities provide bus stop shelters in a planned manner. On the day of Mr. Qadri’s expected arrival city residents had to suffer in the sizzling heat of the day and had to get home on foot burning in the sun. Additional heat of dirty politics joined hands with the dragon of summer to irk people.

    Recommend

  • Qanbar Rizvi
    Jun 29, 2014 - 7:34PM

    Civic bodies are famous for breaking and making things, because it means spending money, which in turn means a lot of ‘revenue’ for the authorities concerned. We have been witness to laying and relaying of the same roads numerous times in a year, demolition, construction, and demolition of drainages etc are all common. But instead of putting public money into good use, city authorities compromise with the people’s needs like bus-stop shelters.Recommend

  • Saima Kanwal
    Jul 2, 2014 - 8:55AM

    There is another aspect of the story of shelter-less bus stops. They are placed one after the other without specifically indicating which route number wagon goes where. Coming everyday; I may know. But when outsiders to the area come in, they are clueless with no info on where different wagons/buses head.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan