ISLAMABAD: The women-only transport ‘Tabeer’ would be re-launched after one month to facilitate the workingwomen and the students travelling between the twin cities.
Talking to the media personnel on Tuesday, Regional Transport Authority’s (RTA) Secretary Awais Manzoor Tarar said that the pilot project of the women-specific transport was initiated on February 17 this year, and after completing its time period successfully, it was ended on May 17. “The pilot project was launched to check the trend and feasibility for initiating a complete project,” he said, adding that due to the ongoing construction work at the Murree Road, it has been decided that the van service will be halted for one month till the completion of the pillar work of metro bus service.
He said that long-term services would be started again on permanent basis or at least till the starting of metro bus service to benefit the workingwomen. The secretary said that the project was run by a private company with collaboration of cellular company Zong, and the authority’s responsibilities were to check the payment of salaries to women hired for collecting fare, availability of vans on roads, and monitor their mobility. Tarar said that Rs 17,000 are given to the woman collecting fares in these vans, Rs 15,000 as salary and Rs 2,000 as food charges.
Sharing his views on the pilot project, the RTA secretary stated that the service facilitated the women a lot but the number of vans was not sufficient to meet their needs, especially during rush hours. He stated that he would recommend to ply eight to ten vans on each route so that the time duration between these vans would be reduced and the women could avail maximum benefit from the service. It must to be noted here that the women workers have expressed deep concerns on the non-availability of the vans as they have to wait for hours to get a seat.
Asma Zafar, an employee of the Secretariat, remarked that the service was a big favour for the workingwomen and they are facing tremendous difficulty for the last few days after the suspension of the service. She said that the public vans accommodate women on two front seats only. “We were happy that the authorities concerned have paid heed to their long-standing demand but the absence of vans has disappointed us badly,” she added. Hina Tahir, an employee of a private bank, said that she is reaching her office late for the last two days.
She appealed the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Chief Commissioner Jawad Paul to take immediate action regarding the issue and revise the reserved number of seats for women which were decided almost three decades back when only few women used to use the public transport, but now a huge bulk of women are rendering services in office, go to academic institutions, and perform household responsibilities.
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