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LAHORE: A number of people belonging to various parts of Punjab and other provinces on Thursday thronged the city bus terminals to return to their native towns for Eid.

As Thursday was the last working day, those hailing from areas around Lahore and other parts of the province made beelines for the counters at the terminals to buy tickets for the cities and towns.

The Punjab capital is home to hundreds of thousands of people from the adjoining districts, cities/towns of southern and other parts of the province and even Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

“Eid is one occasion everyone wishes to spend with dear ones and enjoy every bit of it. I am here to return to my native town Jhang to celebrate Eid with my parents, brothers, sisters and other relatives,” Umair, who works at a private company, told Dawn. He said he had been in queue for two hours and it would take more time to get the ticket.

Among the non-residents are a number of labourers and other construction workers engaged in the Orange Line Metro Train Project and housing schemes and commercial centres in Defence, Township, Johar Town, Iqbal Town, Garden Town, Walton, Cantonment and other areas.

“I have been residing in Lahore for the last five years because the wages are much better here than those in other cities. Every Eid I return home in Chichawatni,” Arshad, a labourer, said at the city district bus terminal near Yateem Khana.

“They haven’t issued me tickets on the pretext of shortage of buses. So, at the moment, I have no option but to go to other bus terminals,” he said and demanded that the terminal administration should have arranged additional buses for the passengers for this occasion.

There were also complaints about overcharging by the staff at the ticket counters and people demanded that the city administration take action against those involved in overcharging and black marketing. “Although the price for Multan ticket is Rs800, they charged Rs1,000. I complained to the supervising staff and succeeded in getting Rs200 back from the ticketing clerks,” Adnan, a passenger complained.

An official dispelled the impression of overcharging saying, “there were few complaints in the last two days; only three people contacted us and complained about overcharging. After registering the complaints, we got the overcharged amount returned to them.”

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2018