Private school transport system
Save parents, students from school vehicle mafia
Rawalpindi, Feb 21: Rawalpindi school children continue to suffer at the hands of uncaring private school vehicles operators. Has any
driver ever been arrested and punished for transporting children in overcrowded school vans without ventilation? Never! Even reams
of newsprint and barrels of ink all these years in a bid to jolt the transport authorities into noting down the predicament of the
unfortunate school children, who have become slaves of the school vehicle mafia, have been unsuccessful.
As is the way with us, nobody
cares until tragedy strikes. Promises of stern action against wayward school vehicle operators remain unfulfilled so far. Measures to
regulate the school transport system are long overdue.
It is high time these vehicles were tested for fitness and their drivers
disciplined to guarantee the safety of children. Some children have to spend two or three hours in school vans to travel several
kilometres as those vehicles go in winding routes so as to maximize their profits.
The present-day children are often accused of
aggressive behaviour, which is attributed to several factors including their exposure to violence on TV. Does the torment they are
made to experience in school vehicles besides heavy school bags they carry and an overdose of private tuition have to do with their
behaviour? Children are wordless and parents powerless before the all-powerful school vehicle mafia. Children are too frightened
to protest their difficulties and their parents too hesitant to brazen out the snobbish drivers, as they are without any other mode
of transport. So, both parents and children suffer in silence.
These vehicle operators also act like a gang of extortionists. In addition
to excessive fares they charge, they have to be paid even during school vacations! Where else on earth does this kind of daylight robbery
take place? Fares are also jacked up according to operators' whims and fancies and parents have no option but to accept it. Whom can
parents turn to? The unusual growth of school vehicles is an indictment on both the city transport system and the education system. When
a child is admitted to school, parents have to take great pains to make certain that they live within the specific radius from the school
of their choice.
There are thousands of vehicles transporting children to many schools from remote places. The rise in the number of
private school vehicles speaks volumes for the failure of the city government to cater to the growing demand for public transport. School
transport is an area where the city fathers can expand its operations and mint money while bringing relief to the stressed public. They
should provide a heavily subsidised school transport service for the benefit of school goers.
Besides this service, which is tantamount
to a giant investment in social welfare, they should explore the possibility of starting a school van service (a few schools are providing
this service) with a reasonable fare structure to compete with the private van operators fleecing parents. The present fleet of private
school vehicles with its excessive charges and administrative ills remains a people-unfriendly service.
City government intervention
is the best cure for the monopolistic exploitation by the private sector school vans. To discipline the private school transport system
the city fathers must come forward to create a healthy competition for the benefit of the people! The news
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Action against authorities responsible for hiring doctors
Rawalpindi: The Punjab government has not yet initiated action against the authorities responsible for hiring
doctors having fake MBBS degrees at the District Headquarters Hospital Rawalpindi though the inquiry report has already
been submitted to the office of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, it has been learnt.
Official sources close to the inquiry
conducted by Farrukh Naveed, Chairman Task Force Administrative Efficiency Punjab said that the inquiry officer
had held high officials in the health department, Rawalpindi Medical College, DHQ and Holy Family hospitals responsible
for appointing the fake doctors as medical officers and four certified doctors in violation of rules and regulations.
said the inquiry completed two months back had gone beyond the arrested medical superintendent of DHQ hospital, Dr Khalid Malik, while
fixing responsibility for appointing three brothers - Syed Allaudin, Syed Naseeruddin and Syed Salahuddin - in the DHQ hospital
despite the fact they had fake medical degrees from Afghanistan.
The official close to the inquiry said though the government
had taken initial steps on the recommendations of the inquiry report but a fully-fledged action was yet to be initiated
against the higher health authorities.
The inquiry team while investigating the induction of the three brothers; nurse Riffat
haheen as female medical officer and hiring of four doctors - Mobeen Akhtar, Maryam Waqar, Romana Malik and Qasim Ali - both
at the DHQ hospital and HFH in violation of rules and regulations had questioned the position of RMC principal and some high
officers in the health department in Lahore.
It has been learnt that the inquiry report had held the view that how it was
possible for a medical superintendent to first hire fake doctors on a regular basis and then get them regularised when
the power of drawing and dispensing officer was with the RMC principal and the final approval for the regular appointments
were made by the health department in Lahore.
Though the Anti-corruption Establishment Rawalpindi has sent the case of
the MS, his deputy Dr Bilal Arshad, hospital accountant Asif Ayub, Director Finance for Allied Hospitals Mohammad
Rasheed, the three brothers, head clerk DHQ Malik Irfan, his wife and nurse Riffat Shaheen and three lady doctors
Mobeen Akhtar, Maryam Waqar and Romana Malik to the court, no legal action has been initiated regarding the appointment
of Dr Akhtar Ali.
When contacted, the inquiry officer, Farrukh Naveed said he had sent the report to the office
of the chief minister for further action. Dawn
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Frequent power outages affected FPSC work
Islamabad: Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) Chairman Justice (retd) Baghwandas says he is trying to slash the long
wait faced by the successful Central Superior Service (CSS) candidates after appearing in the examination.
The written CSS
examination is arranged every March and the result is declared close to the last quarter of the same year. Oral interviews
of successful candidates are held early next year, and the final result is announced after June.
This means that the FPSC
takes at least 16 months to complete the exercise. This period is apart from the two years that candidates spend at the
two training academies over which the FPSC has no control.
The successful candidates require some five years (including
the time required for preparation of the examination) to start their actual service.
The FPSC chief said that frequent power
outages were greatly affecting the FPSC work and were a major hurdle in cutting down this time period. He said he had directed
his office to take every step to reduce it so that the candidates did not have to wait for long.
He said that during his recent
meeting with the prime minister, he asked for allocation of funds to pay to the power company for a second electricity line to
the FPSC offices. He said he was also shortly writing to Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin for immediate release of funds.
said that automation of record being done now would help bring about efficiency only after if there were no frequent power
outages. He said that the workload was very heavy this year. A total of 11,000 applications were received.
Of them, as many as
900 candidates have passed the written examination and they are now being interviewed. The chairman said that the interviews that
began in January have so far been conducted in Islamabad and Karachi.
Interviews would be conducted in Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar
in the next few weeks, he said.
Baghwandas said that a building had been hired in Multan and efforts were being made to conduct
interviews at this station for the first time so that candidates from this part of the Punjab did not have to come to Lahore. He said
that the final results would be announced in June this year.
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YDA to join hike
Rawalpindi: The twin cities wing of the Young Doctors Association has decided to participate in a hike titled 'Fight against
corruption' being organised by Pakistan Green Task Force in collaboration with the hiking club of Rawalpindi Medical College
"During the hike, we would register our protest against the US and whatsoever being done with our sister
Dr Aafia Siddiqui," said YDA Rawalpindi President Dr Muhammad Haroon said that Young Doctors
Association has already started a series of protests in support of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
The first massive protest was staged in
Lahore. Dr Aafia Siddiqui did MBBS from QMC, Bahawalpur, MD from USA and PhD Nuclear Medicine from USA.
Dr Haroon said that all
the allegations levelled against her are false and young doctors condemn her imprisonment and demand the government authorities
to bring her back.
"Young doctors from all hospitals of Rawalpindi and Islamabad will participate in the walk," he said. President YDA
Rawalpindi Dr Haroon and President YDA Islamabad Dr Sajid will lead young doctors who would be displaying banners and posters to express
their support for Dr Aafia Siddiqui. President Medical Students Wing YDA Shahid will lead the students in the hike.
Green Task Force
has organized the walk and funds for the hike. The walk will start at 10 a.m. on Track 5 Margallah Hills, about 1.7 kilometre distance
and end at Monaal, Pir Sohawa where closing ceremony will be held. Dr Afia's sister Fouzia Siddiqui and her cousin Noureen are expected
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Foundation stone laid
Peshawar: The University of Peshawar (UoP) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Azmat Hayat Khan Saturday laid the foundation stone
of a separate colony for University Public School (UPS) employees at a ceremony in Hayatabad.
The 10 kanals property, previously
under the university possession, was specified for a colony due to accommodation problems being faced by the faculty on the
Addressing the ceremony, Dr Azmat Hayat said that with the passage of time the space for family accommodation on the
campus was shrinking. The news
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