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MARDAN: The stoppage of transport facility by Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (AWKUM) to pick and drop its students, teachers and other staff in the wake of Dec 16 terrorist attack on Army Public School, Peshawar, has been creating difficulties for them.

Sources said that the AWKUM administration had decided to withdraw the pick and drop facility to students and staff members by the varsity buses so as to avoid any untoward incident.

Talking to Dawn, Junaid Khan, a final year student at the varsity, said that they had suffered a lot owing to the stoppage of university transportation. “The garden campus of AWKUM where we take classes is located far away from residential areas and it is difficult for the university students, especially girls, to reach for their classes in time without the varsity transportation,” he said.

He claimed that non-provision of transportation by the university administration had also reduced the students’ presence on the campuses.

Zeeshan Yousafzai, a BSc honours student, said that a large number of students who could not afford hostel expenses were using the university transport, but the decision had not only increased their expenses while using private transport but also multiplied their miseries.

Amjid Khan, a resident of Mardan, said that his sister was a student of BSc in AWKUM. He said that they belonged to Jamal Gari area and would pay Rs7,000 as transportation charges of his sister to the university for a six-month semester. “Initially, I myself would pick and drop my sister on bike which also affected my duty timings. Now I have arranged a private van for the purpose, which has been charging Rs2,500 a month. Thus the total amount for the semester would come to Rs15,000 which is more than double the university would charge,” he lamented.

Wali Khan varsity takes the step for security reasons

Mr Amjid said that now he was always concerned about security of his sister, while there were no such worries when the university transport was available.

When contacted, Mardan division commissioner Khalid Hussain told Dawn that the provincial government had not issued any notification for banning use of government vehicles for pick and drop of students and staffers. He, however, said that the KP Home Department had issued a “threat alert” to the authorities concerned of all districts regarding the ‘pick and drop’ of students and staffers by the educational institutions. He said that the district administration had just conveyed that “threat alert” message to the educational institutions so they could take appropriate safety measures.

An employee of AWKUM said that over 50 big and small university vehicles had been parked on its premises since the authorities concerned stopped providing transportation facility to students.

Ibrar Khan, the provost of Abdul Wali Khan University, told Dawn that the university administration had stopped the pick and drop facility for students and staff members on the long routes only. He said that transportation facility was still being provided to students within Mardan district.

He pointed out that the university was earlier providing pick and drop facility to students and staffers on long routes from Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda, Swabi, Dargai, Katlang, Rustam, Lundkhwar, Mayar and other far-flung areas. He said that transport to these places would be resumed soon after situation would become normal.

Published in Dawn March 1st , 2015

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