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MURREE: Due to a row between two groups of transporters, commuters are facing problems in Kotli Sattian.

A large number of women teachers from Rawalpindi travel to various areas of Kotli Sattian on public transport but due to the blockades of roads by the rival transporters they are also facing hardship.

A group of transporters has been operating vans on various routes in Kotli Sattian but a new bus service was recently launched by another group.

However, those already operating their vans on the routes forcibly stopped the new bus service and blocked the Rawalpindi-Kotli Road along with link roads to different villages by putting stones and green pine trees on the roads after illegally chopping them.

A large number of commuters use this road to reach various areas of Azad Kashmir, including Taen Dhalkot, Rawalakot, Bagh and Chaman Kot.

Naveed Satti, a notable of the area, said the old transporters misbehaved with passengers and after the launch of the new bus service the citizens had got some relief. But the old transporters forcefully stopped the new service.

The local people said no rout permit had been issued to transporters and they had established illegal van stands in the area.

The residents demanded that the transporters should be asked to ensure van fitness system, take route permits and fulfil other legal requirements to provide better and safe facilities to the commuters.

They said the van stands should also be regularised so that revenue could be collected by the government for the development of the area.

When contacted, Assistant Commissioner Kotli Sattian Izharul Haq Bajwa said cases had been registered against those who blocked roads and illegally cut green trees. He said primarily it was the duty of Regional Transport Authority to take action against transport vehicles running without route permits but being the administrator of the town he takes action when any such issue comes in his notice.

The official said action would be also taken against the illegal van stands.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2019