Rawalpindi bus stands without passenger sheds


Most of the bus stands in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which are roofless, neither provide shelter to passengers in rain nor offer any shade under the scorching summer sun.
Braving sunlight or rain, commuters have to wait for their buses to arrive while the authorities concerned seem apathetic towards their daily ordeal. The situation is particularly problematic at the Pirwadhai, Faizabad bus terminals and bus stands along the IJ Principal Road and Murree Road where there are no passenger sheds.
Commuters of the twin cities have expressed their serious concerns over the poor condition of general bus stands. Talking to Pakistan Today on Friday, they urged the city administration to take stern action to ensure provision of facilities at bus stands, especially roofs, shades and benches etc. They also demanded that there should more bus stands with passenger sheds. Students who commute daily were also seen complaining that they had to take cover of their books to avoid the sunlight. Women said they used handbags for that purpose.
The hot and muggy weather with recurrent rains have put the commuters of the twin cities in trouble since most of the bus stands are without shades or roofs.
Asmat, a daily commuter while waiting for his bus at the Faizabad Bus Stop, told Pakistan Today that he had to put up with numerous problems. “Waiting for public transport in the scorching heat and getting drenched in rain has become the fate of hundreds of commuters,” he added.
He said those bus stops without passenger sheds and benches were totally useless and deplores that the authorities concerned were simply playing the role of a silent spectator to the whole situation. Javed Saleem, another commuter said, “The authorities should remove these bus stops because they are simply useless for us.” Muhammad Ayub, a government servant and regular commuter at the Pindora Chongi Bus Stop, said that at a time when provision of better public transportation is being increasingly viewed as an answer to the growing traffic problems, commuters have to wait for their buses at the roofless bust stops. “It is unfortunate that the administration has failed to provide shelter at bus stops,” he added.
Aneela, a student, told Pakistan Today that the commuters preferred to stand at the roadside while waiting for vans and buses because of poor condition of bus stands. “On the one hand, girls and women have to face shortage of space in buses, and on the other hand, they have to wait for their buses at stops that are without shades or roofs,” she complained.
She said they also avoided using these bus stops because some college boys gathered there daily to harass college girls. “I usually feel like I am going to faint because there is no shade here,” said Gulshan Bibi, another woman commuter.
Akhtar Khan, a vendor at Faizabad Bus Stand, admitted he had been occupying the only passenger shed there for two years. When asked why, he said he had no other place to set up his stall to earn his livelihood.