The district administration has sealed many illegal bus stations within the main Chitral bazar on the order of Peshawar High Court and special instruction of Regional Transport Authority, Malakand Division.
In my humble opinion, it was a very timely, sensible and wise step by the administration serving the masses. Chitral is supposed to be the most remote part of the country. The journey to Chitral by road as a passenger point of view has always been a nightmare, irritating and exhausting experience of his life. Similarly, on the other hand, the pathetic, bumpy and bad roads are adding insult to the injuries.
It is ridiculous that only within a radius of two kilometers within Chitral main bazar multiple transport or bus stations are operating. The passenger respect, comfort and satisfaction is secondary for these operators.
If my memory serves me well when former deputy commissioner Shaheed Osama Ahmad Waraich was in charge the administration directed shifting and relocating of all goods and bus stations to a relatively less populated and less congested area of the town upon the direction and notification of the provincial government.
Due to security reasons and traffic jam this step was imperative. In my humble opinion, here are some blessings and advantages of a full fledge TMO owned or supervised bus station for the masses.
1. The administration can implement the fare charges otherwise in presence of mushroom growth stations the implementation is virtually impossible.
2. Due to the presence of multiple stations there is unnecessary congestion, impediment and traffic jam. The fire tenders and ambulance service is greatly affected due to this during emergencies. As one can know that each and every second is critical and precious for the survival of a cardiac arrest patient.
3. Chitral route is supposed to be the most dangerous and life threatening route of Pakistan due to its mountaneous bumpy and u even terrain. Only those buses and vehicles should be allowed to operate fulfilling the requirements of the vehicle fitness criteria which is possible only under the TMO owned and supervised Station.
4. Majority of the fatal accidents is due to the criminal policy of “First come first go” by private adda operators. Over speeding and reckless driving will be avoided by discouraging this policy. Adda challan for departure should be given on a rotational policy. Passengers comfort, respect and satisfaction should be supreme.
5. Most of the drivers take advantage and over charged the vulnerable and innocent passengers as far there language is concerned. Passengers should be allowed to carry 20 kilos free of charge. The driver should charge for language exceeding 20 kilos as fixed by the administration to avoid any enmity between the passenger and the driver. This is also possible due to TMO supervised station.
6. Most importantly the TMO office can generate a handsome amount of revenue for itself and this money should be used to improve and upgrade the services for the passengers.
As a citizen I do hope the administration should listen to these recommendations to provide the people of Chitral a comfortable, respectful and satisfactory service.