MULTAN: A Speedo bus for feeder route of Metro Bus Service got trapped in a sinkhole after the road near Shadab Colony caved in on Saturday.

Reports said the rusty portion of 72-inch sewer pipeline beneath the road linking MDA Chowk to Sorij Miani caved in due to the weight of the bus. The crew along with the passengers immediately left the vehicle and it fell in the hole slowly.

The sewer line was laid in 1971 from Chungi No 9 to the River Chenab while passing through Kutchery Chowk, MDA Chowk and Sorij Miani.

A sewer line was laid some time back and the road was reconstructed but the old pipeline was not dismantled as, according to Wasa authorities, dismantling before constructing the road was not possible.

Some three months back, two wheels of a feeder bus of Metro Bus Service were also stuck when the road partially caved in.

Deputy Commissioner Zahid Sohail said dismantling the old sewerage pipeline was on the cards but sewage water was being diverted from old pipeline to the new one so it was not possible to dismantle it during that period.

He said all the four people riding the bus remained safe and there was no fault in the construction of the road. “The hole is being plugged.”

STRIKE: The drivers of Metro Bus Service on Saturday went on a strike against what they claimed non-payment of two-month salaries.

The commuters faced hardships as the drivers parked the buses for about 45 minutes.

The protesters alleged that they were being paid less than what was mentioned in their contracts. They raised slogans against the Punjab government and the Metro Bus Authority officials.

The drivers refused to resume the service until release of their salaries. In the meantime, officials led by Metro Command and Control in-charge Mr Zahid held negotiations with the protesters and assured them of early release of their salaries. After the assurance, the protesters called off the strike.

A large number of commuters remained stranded for hours at metro bus stations owing to closure of the service.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2018

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