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Commuters facing problems due to lesser public transport

ISLAMABAD: The commuters of the twin cities are facing problems regarding the public transport due to the sit-ins of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in the capital.Majority of the public transport was off the road on Sunday as the sit-ins entered day 10. The transporters kept their vehicles stationed at homes. Jehangir Khan, driver of a public transport vehicle at Faizabad said that he could not take the risk to travel to the capital as the protestors have gathered in the city and might turn violent anytime. Therefore, he carried the commuters from Saddar to Faizabad and was now filling the van to go back to Saddar, he added. “We are praying that the situation may become normal. We are unable to earn reasonable income, as we cannot complete our routes, moreover, the number of passengers have also decreased,” he said.A large number of commuters who were stranded at the Faizabad stop, expressed their displeasure over the protests, demonstrations, and processions being held in the capital, which had turned their lives miserable. Such activities increased the hardships of the common men, who have no alternative to reach their offices and homes, they said. Majid, an employee of a private firm having office in Blue Area showed displeasure over the sit-ins, which he said had disturbed his normal life. He said that he did not have his own transport and in the absence of the public transport, he was unable to attend his office.Muhammad Farid, a 45-year-old commuter, while talking to the media personnel said that the taxi drivers were taking full advantage of the situation and were charging the passengers more than the original fare. Shahbaz Khan, 35, said that he lived in Rawalpindi but worked in the capital and had to travel between the twin cities, twice a day. Prior to the sit-ins, it took him around one hour to have one-sided journey. “Now I have to start my journey two hours prior to the scheduled time as I have to change two vans midway at Faizabad,” he complained. Khan said he had to consume over four hours in traveling every day, leaving little time to work. He expressed the hope that soon the sit-ins would end normalising the life for the residents of the twin cities. He appealed the government and the district administration to evolve a mechanism for holding sit-ins and protests in the capital so that the routine life is not disturbed.On the other hand, the parents of the students studying in educational institutions of the capital are perturbed over the disruption of their academic activities for the third week due to the prolonged sit-ins of the marchers. The authorities announced a weeklong extension in the summer vacations for the third time due to the prolonged sit-ins of the participants of Azadi and Inqilab marches in the capital.The schools and colleges in the capital were supposed to open from the 11th after two-months long vacations but the authorities concerned announced more holidays till the 17th to save the students from any untoward situation. Again, the authorities announced more vacations till the 24th and then till the 31st and now the students are likely to resume their study routine from September 1. The students are perturbed over the prevailing situation and the parents are worried that their children would not get good grades in the examination due to continuous disruption in their study schedule.“Students suffer psychologically when there is unrest on the roads and sense of insecurity lingers on,” Farhat Fatima, a mother of three school-going children said. “I am concerned about the positions of my children in the annual results this year. The sense of insecurity and uncertainty has perturbed the students adding psychological pressure, besides disturbing their study routine, she added.

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