Bakht Zameen

PESHAWAR: The drivers of the tribal districts face a lot of difficulties due to lack of any Regional Transport Authority (RTA) office in erstwhile Fata.

The tribal transporters and drivers said they had to go to divisional headquarters of RTA for making their driving licences where officials at different levels fleece them. They said it is very difficult for them to go to settled areas for obtaining driving licences. They alleged that the tribal drivers are often fleeced by the driving licence office staff, particularly in Kohat. They said a driver either had to pay bribe or have a strong reference for obtaining licence and those who don’t do so had to return empty handed.

The people visiting the RTA offices often complain that the staff give them a date for driving test and very few of them pass that test. Some officials (or front men) sitting outside the office ask every visitor that they can help them skip the test and demand money for that purpose. Those who pay the money get their licences through a short-cut process, while those who go through proper procedure keep waiting for months.

The tribal drivers also complained that the traffic police in settled districts impose heavy fines on them if they don’t possess driving licences.

The drivers of the tribal districts demanded that they may be exempted from driving licences till extension of the RTA to the tribal districts. They said if it is not possible then special desks should be set up at the RTA offices in the settled districts for the people tribal districts seeking driving licences. They said the RTA officials must also be directed to cooperate with the drivers of the tribal districts and make the process easier for them. They also demanded strict action against corrupt elements in the RTA offices.