By: Our Staff Reporter
Quetta: Local buses in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan are on strike for the last four consecutive days after they were barred entering their previous routes towards downtown.
The strike of local buses that provide transportation facility to approximately half of the city populace, as only affordable source of transportation for the Quettaties within the city, has multiplied the miseries of students, low-paid employees, men, women and patients since they have left with no other option but to hire auto rickshaws that are demanding huge fare following the strike of local buses.
“Local buses are the only affordable transport that we can afford to reach college and back home,” Javed Khan, a second year student at Govt. Science College and resident of Satellite town told this The Balochistan Point, adding that if this service is stopped a large number of students would be in huge trouble.
A large number of students, men and women could be witnessed in the morning at various bus stops of Quetta city waiting for local transport, since local buses provide inexpensive transportation to reach Civil Secretariat, Civil Hospital, Schools, Colleges and all the main markets, to people living in entire Sariab, Satellitown, Brewery, Kirani and Qambarani.
Official sources say the local buses are being relocated to another area owing to some security reasons.
However, the transporters out-rightly reject this notion alleging authorities concerned have been trying to push transporters out of the city though they have been abiding by all their instructions and directives concerning to security and traffic of the city.
“Authorities are trying to snatch our livelihood, we have made no money for the last three days to buy edibles to our children owing to the strike,” laments Gulam Ali, a bus cleaner-cum- driver, adding that local buses have been directed to divert right from Sariab Bridge.
“If local buses divert from Sariab Bridge then passengers would have to walk at least 3-kms to reach Jinnah Road, Civil Hospital, Science College and other main business areas such as Liaquat Bazaar and Shara-e-Iqbal. Then in such circumstances using local buses for transportation would be useless and ultimately people will try to find other means of traveling,” he argued.
Asad Baloch, a social worker and artist strongly criticizes authorities for blocking local buses from their old routes under the pretext of security or traffic jam, saying the ultimate sufferers of this unwise decision would be poor masses.
“Government is protecting itself, it has nothing to do with miseries of masses, instead more problems are being created for poor people,” he said, adding that if government show generosity it can easily find a suitable place for bus stand.
He suggests a number of bungalows of bureaucrats are located at Stewart Road if the some bungalows are vacated spared for local buses it would be an easy and proper solution to this issue. “Authorities can afford troubling thousands of people but can’t relocate some bungalows of ex- or on services bureaucrats in the best interest of the people,” he said.
Mr. Baloch says blocking buses from their old routes would further create problems for masses as well as transporters that would not be in favour of anyone but a big success for those who are trying to spread terror in the city.
Published in The Balochistan Point on October 31, 2016