PESHAWAR: The district administration has banned rickshaws from the Pir Zakori Bridge-Surey Pul stretch of the Grand Trunk Road here from today (Thursday), insisting the move will ease traffic congestion on the major main thoroughfare in the capital city.

The decision about the ban was made in a meeting chaired by the commissioner of Peshawar division, Riaz Khan Mehsud, according to an official statement.

The meeting called to discuss traffic issues in the provincial capital was attended by deputy commissioner Afaq Wazir, SSP (traffic) Saud Khan, officials of the Regional Transport Authority and excise department, and representatives of transporter unions.

It also decided that the old buses and wagons plying the roads along the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor would be impounded and scrapped, while their drivers would be arrested.

Admin also decides to seize old buses, wagons plying along BRT corridor

The participants also agreed about the seizure of rickshaws that are registered in other districts but operate in the provincial capital.

They also directed authorities to crack down on the rickshaws whose drivers have photocopied permits and registration papers, while the sealing of rickshaw factories was also ordered.

The meeting decided to ban rickshaw supply from Punjab and order the arrest of suppliers and confiscation of those tri-wheelers.

It said the district administration would launch a 20-day crackdown on illegal rickshaws, buses, and wagons from Thursday (today).

Under the plans, pressure horns, flashlights, tinted glasses, illegal registration plates, and musical instruments will be removed from vehicles before being destroyed, while legal action will be taken against drivers under the age of 21.

The meeting also decided to impound and scrap the buses, wagons, and rickshaws illegally operating in the provincial capital.

It chalked out a strategy to do away with illegal transport vehicles from the provincial capital and took the representatives of transporter unions into confidence about it.

Officials said as the crackdown would continue until May 29, special teams of the police, district administration, and transport and excise departments were formed for its success.

Peshawar SSP (traffic) Saud Khan told Dawn that the traffic police had presented the traffic management plan for Peshawar to the district administration for approval and implementation.

He said the traffic police were impounding illegal rickshaws and buses and registering FIRs against their drivers.

“Last month, we [traffic police] registered FIRs against 200 rickshaw drivers and impounded 200 illegal buses and rickshaws,” he said.

The SSP said that over 300,000 rickshaws and loaders operated in the provincial capital, but in the case of their seizure, the traffic police lacked spaces to keep such a large number of vehicles.

An official told Dawn, requesting anonymity, that the Peshawar BRT project envisioned the scrapping of old buses plying the provincial capital’s roads.

He said that under the bus project, authorities scrapped around 600 old and rickety buses after making due payments to their owners in two phases.

The official, however, said that transporters later brought in buses from the Punjab province and demanded a phase-out of old buses, but the demand was turned down by authorities.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2024

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