No transport, businesses suffer as capital choked

ISLAMABAD: The shortage of public transport due to the sit-ins is causing problems for the citizens.The containers placed due to the protest marches on all the entry and exit points of the capital have created problems for the citizens. Moreover, the continuous deadlines in the speeches by the leaders of PAT and PTI have disturbed the public transport owners who are afraid to bring their transport on roads. While the taxi drivers are getting advantages of these circumstances by receiving extra fare. According to reports, there is no presence of the traffic police have on the highways and roads of the capital.On the other hand, the citizens of the capital have stopped visiting the sasta bazaars due to the continuing uncertain situation caused by the prolonged protests. The stallholders while talking to the media personnel said that the people are not coming in the sasta bazaars due to the protests of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek. The sources said that the citizens are frightened from the prevailing situation and are bound to buy expensive fruits, vegetables, and edibles from their nearby markets rather than visiting the sasta bazaars. The stallholders said that the protests have affected their business more than the metro bus project.Meanwhile, the lined and colourful nurseries of Sector H8 in the capital are witnessing lesser visitors due to the blockage of roads. The access has become the main issue due to the prevailing political situation and the ongoing construction work in the area. The competition among the nurseries had also grown intense as more than 90 outlets are in the city, and most of them are close to the Peshawar More, Rawal Lake, and Chak Shehzad. The Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) nursery, sprawling over a vast area, offered an impressive collection of plants and trees. Ahmad Saeed, who owns a nursery in Sector H8, said that the overall sale of the plants had declined for the last few months.“Other than flowers, we also do business of exotic flowerpots of different sizes and designs,” he added. Some of these nurseries are also offering landscaping services, including setting up of rockeries and waterfalls. Private parties, which pay the monthly rent to the CDA, run the nurseries, he added. He said, “Apart from the local sales, the nurseries here supply plants and saplings and flowers to a wide area stretching from Attock to Jhelum, including Murree and Hazara.”“The major advantage is the central location of the city, and secondly the overall business environment is proactive here, but the business circumstances have changed a lot due to the prevailing political situation and because of the construction work,” said Nasirullah Khan, a nursery owner. He said that the access to Sector H8 nurseries has become an uphill task due to the blockage of roads, and the business was not too good. “Very few people visit and most of the visitors are just window-shoppers and they are not serious buyers,” he added.Nasirullah further said that the cost of labour, fertilizer, seeds, and flowerpots had gone up over the years and the business was now becoming increasingly difficult in this situation. “We just wish for this construction work to be completed as soon as possible and that the political atmosphere in the country become peaceful, calm, and stable,” he added. 

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