After plying city roads and intra city routes for almost six decades, the Ford wagons and other buses of public transport will soon become history as they are being acquired by the government and scrapped.
Around 84 old buses and wagons of public transport have been purchased and scrapped successfully after the introduction of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). In total, 418 vehicles, including wagons and buses, have been registered with the BRT which is paying Rs360,000 for Business Compensation Loss (BCL) for each wagon and the same amount for an old Ford truck. Talking to The Express Tribune, the spokesperson for BRT, Umair Khan, said that they had so far registered 418 vehicles in Peshawar and the compensation package had entered its 7th phase.
“Vehicles are registered. Then their documents are verified from the Excise and Taxation Department, the Deputy Commissioner’s Office (DC) and the Transport Department. Advertisements are published in the newspaper asking people if they have any claim on the vehicles and, after these formalities, the owners are paid and the vehicles sent for scrapping,” he said, adding that the process was slow and cumbersome due to the lengthy documentation and verification process. “The registration is almost complete for the district as 418 vehicles have been registered.
All the owners will be paid once the verification process is complete and the BRT will be the only mode of transportation in the city in the coming days. It is worth mentioning here that the government has allocated Rs150.8 million for the purchase of old public transport vehicles in the city. Talking to The Express Tribune a transporter said that he had 25 buses and transport had been a really profitable business in the city before the introduction of BRT.
“With the BRT, there is no place for an alternate transport system despite the fact that it doesn’t cover all the routes. Old wagons and buses are being purchased by the government and scrapped. Hundreds of drivers and helpers as well as mechanics and other people working at bus and wagon stands have been left jobless”. “It is the end of an era,” said Yasin, a transporter, adding that there was still a great demand for public transport but it will be met by the pickups and small vehicles on Ring Road and other routes.