Public transport is the most ignored sector of the local economy where bullies are operating passenger buses inflicting insults to people traveling in the bus and beside that Balochistan is the most backward and ignored province of Pakistan where people are denied basic services including decent travel facilities, in absence of comprehensive road network.
They are made target when any one protest for snail pace driving on the busy road causing traffic jam and inflicting mental torture to the passengers. The buses are normally owned by local elders and given on contract to the bullies, most of them.
The bus service failed to deliver goods as most of the buses are fewer numbers of passengers merely because of the time consuming to travel from Saryab to main commercial centre of Quetta.
The private public transport for the benefit of the common people, mostly poor who cannot afford to hire an auto rickshaw or own their own transport.
We have suggested these in a columns few years ago to start the Green Bus service during the peak hours, in the morning office time and for school going children and in the afternoon when children in tens of thousands return home.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has approved a pilot project for local Green Bus Service, in Quetta. The Chief Minister okay the project while heading a high-level meeting held to discuss affairs related to the Transport Department.
In the first phase, 10 Green Busses will start their services on Sariab Road, Joint Road and Airport Road. Depending on project’s success, the services will be extended to other parts of provincial capital.
Khan instructed the Transport Department to complete the related tasks for initiating the project. He also directed the Revenue Department to issue funds for its initiation.
Balochistan Minister for Transport Mir Umar Khan Jamali, Parliamentary Secretary Bushra Rind, Planning and Development Additional Secretary Abdul Saboor Kakar, and other notables attended this meeting. The meeting members agreed that local transporters from Quetta will be made part of the Green Bus project.
In addition, they also decided to install tracking system and cameras in public transports. The Government of Balochistan will procure the equipment from approved companies and provide it to the transporters.
With its expanding population and a large number of privately run transport vehicles on its roads, Quetta has witnessed rising traffic congestion, air and noise pollution, risk of accidents, and health and environmental hazards over the decades.
The project itself seeks to facilitate commuters in some of Quetta most busy areas. Any successful city infrastructure requires a mass transit system to reduce vehicle congestion, not to mention the positive effects on the environment with reduced pollution. Having a well-developed system will encourage more people to use public transportation in the provincial capital.
The Government should impound all the old and junk buses from the road as a punishment for the owners who failed to improve the bus service for the benefit of the people. Junk passenger buses are emitting smoke and spreading diseases among the people to inhale poisonous smoke that causes lung cancer. Or the Government imposed very heavy fine, including cancellation of their route permits.
At the moment, the local bus Mafia had monopolized the transport facility in the major half of Quetta city intimidating the passengers, charging highest fare and resort to overload and reckless driving besides humiliating the passengers. It is horrible for the women folk to travel by local bus as they face disrespect from the operators, mostly doubtful in character.
It will go long in the history if the present Government got the credit to start the Green Bus service for the people of Quetta without any delay. People will welcome it and cooperate with the authorities to make Bus service a profitable organisation.