PESHAWAR: The contractor operating the women-only ‘pink bus service’ in Mardan and Abbottabad has served a legal notice on the government-owned TransPeshawar company over the alleged violation of the agreement and warned it would suspend the service on Oct 1 if the company fails to follow the agreement.

It claimed that the buses provided to it by TransPeshawar were in bad condition, while security measures for them and bus stops were inadequate.

The contractor also asked the company to insure the ‘pink buses’ totalling 14 in line with Clause 38 of the agreement.

The notice has been served on behalf of Gohar Ayub authorised by a joint venture comprising Bizitech, New Khyber Car Rental Services Limited and Frontier Organisation for Reforms and Transformation.

The contractor said South Korea, Brazil, Indonesia and Egypt couldn’t sustain the women-only transport projects and therefore, they’re converted to family bus services.

It asked the TransPeshawar to revise the business model in consultation with service provider in accordance with the culture and traditions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Serves legal notice on TransPeshawar for violating agreement

The company was also asked to pay the contractor for the money spent on the operationalisation of the buses and loss of advertisement revenue.

The contractor said if those issues weren’t resolved by the company, it would invoke clauses 32.6 and 34.3.1 of the agreement to seek specific performance of the terms of the agreement or its termination.

The notice said the ‘pink buses’ as they’re called were advertised by the provincial government through TransPeshawar for Mardan and Abbottabad more than four times but no company showed interest in their operation.

It added that the joint venture consisting of Bizitech, New Khyber Car Rental Services Limited and Frontier Organisation for Reforms and Transformation was later awarded the contract for being the only bidder, which had technically qualified for the bus service in Mardan and Abbottabad.

The notice claimed that the contractor had begun the bus service in good faith but the buses delivered to it by the TransPeshawar in Mar 2019 were in bad shape.

It said the detailed assessment revealed that the buses were non-functional and their batteries, ACs, paint, tyres, fuel pumps, windshields, carpets, speedometers and electric wirings were defective.

The notice claimed that the pink buses emitted black smoke and the company was told about it on a regular basis, while a substantial amount of money and time was spent on the mechanical and electrical works of buses.

It added that despite all those difficulties, the contractor had begun the bus service expecting that the company would launch a media campaign to create its awareness among women but that campaign wasn’t launched.

The notice said a few women used pink buses as most of women travelled along with their male family members in line with local traditions.

It also said the specially-designed bus stops were not used by women commuters and instead, they’re occupied by men, mostly drug addicts.

The contractor expressed reservation about advertisement issues saying it expected revenue from advertisements on bus stops and buses in line with the agreement but the tehsil municipal administration stopped them demanding one-year full charges, which surpass the revenue generated by advertisements.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2019