–PTI govt plans to run LTC under Punjab Transport Department
LAHORE: The Lahore Transport Company (LTC) has failed to launch as many as 208 buses on the 12 vacant routes whereas this project was an integral part of the future goals of the company, Pakistan Today learnt reliably.
According to the confidential sources, the purpose of formation of the LTC was to strengthen the urban transport system through planning and expansion of operations, but many goals could not be implemented.
Sources added that during the tenure of the previous PML-N government, the LTC was given the powers of regulation whereas instead of strengthening the system, the LTC started minting money by imposing challans and the transporters were buried under the heavy fees imposed on them.
The sources further informed that in 2009, when the LTC was established, the urban transport system was taken away from the Punjab Transport Department and handed over to the company to manage 863 buses, 2,200 wagons and 34,000 auto rickshaws.
Instead of increasing the numbers of vehicles, the figures went down due to the poor mechanism and management of the LTC whereas many transporters became defaulters and among them was the Monolite Company who was one of the pioneers of the double-decker bus service in Pakistan, they said.
Sources revealed that due to the LTC’s ‘incompetence’, the present government is planning to make it run under the Punjab Transport Department.
12 routes are vacant at the moment and several plans were formulated by the company which could not be implemented thus far. At present, the LTC has 200 buses and 700 wagons, whereas the decrease in the number of these vehicles has raised the number of auto rickshaws and chingchis rickshaws which have created a traffic mess in the city.
Sources said that instead of functionalising the 12 vacant routes, the LTC, while gaining political favours, has started working for its own interest by imposing different challans and fees on the transporters.
The LTC was formed as a regulatory body to ensure a smooth-running transport system in Lahore and to provide the commuters with a safe, efficient and affordable transport service but, according to sources, the lack of efficiency towards the given task has so far failed to achieve the set goals.
The proposals prepared by the LTC for the government have several flaws in them as they lack the expertise while homework on the projects is always missing, sources said while adding that the government has to think several times before the execution of such plans.
LTC Chief Operating Officer Zafar Qureshi, while speaking to Pakistan Today said, “We already have more than 200 buses in the city, and 700 wagons have been given permits along with 50,000 rickshaws. We had prepared a proposal and sent it to the government but so far, no response was received.”
“The identified routes are 53 and after studying them, we prioritised 12 routes on which these buses were to be run. As soon as we get an approval from the government, we will execute the plans,” he added.