PESHAWAR: The bus drivers in Peshawar have staged protest against not getting jobs in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar.

The bus drivers were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands. The protesting drivers said the government had promised to buy buses of drivers and employ them, but that promise remains unfulfilled.

The drivers said the city traffic police personnel impose heavy fines on them and their buses are often taken to the terminal which affects their livelihood. They demanded the government to purchase their buses and provide them jobs.

The bus drivers of Peshawar are of the view that they had right on jobs on the mega BRT project in their city. They alleged that the highhandedness of traffic police has made their lives difficult and now the bus driving is no more profitable. They alleged that the local transport is being mishandled largely after the inauguration of BRT last month. They said the government has stopped issuing permits and at the same time fines are being imposed on transporters for lacking the same.

The drivers said unemployment ratio is already high in KP and mishandling of local transporters in Peshawar will further aggravate the situation.

Transporters claim that the government had set Rs1.41 million for each wagon and Rs1.51 for the bus, but now it has conveyed to transporters that compensation will range from Rs800,000 to 900,000. They said their anger increased further when non-local people were given jobs in the mega project and the transporters of Peshawar were ignored.

The transporters of Peshawar opine that they have vast experience of running buses in the provincial metropolis and they can handle the BRT buses very well as compared to outsiders, but it is beyond comprehension why the government has opted for appointing non-locals. They say non-locals and untrained drivers are unable to handle the huge BRT busses. They said 13 buses have gone out of order in the BRT in less than a month since its inauguration which shows that the mega project is being handled non-professionally. They said the situation can improve drastically if right people are hired on jobs.