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    Residents call for bus service resumption

    KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Residents of the southern Kandahar City have demanded the resumption of public transport buses on city routes to minimise their reliance on expensive taxi cars and motorised rickshaws.

    A resident of the Mirwais Mina area, Mohammad Saleem, said residents have been facing inconvenience since the service was wound up years ago after the buses were grounded for being damaged.

    Commuters have to pay unaffordable taxi fares for going one place to another within in the city, he added, asking the government to reintroduce the facility.

    Another resident of the Mirza Mohammad Khan Qala area on the city's outskirts, Nazar Mohammad, said women faced problems in absence of public transport. "Women often sit on trunks of taxi cars to pay less," he pointed out.

    Thirty-five buses had been provided to Kandahar after they were given to the country in donation by Pakistan, Iran and India, which provided 25 buses. The service came to an end after most of the vehicles were damaged.

    Deputy head of the Mili Bus Department, Mohammad Daud Akhtari, said the income had not been enough to meet fuel, maintenance costs and salaries for the staff. As a result, he said they had to stop the service.

    However, he said 16 buses were still in good condition and could be used for transportation purposes in the city.

    "If the citizens are demanding the bus service to be resumed, we would do it, but may stop it again if there are not enough passengers using the buses," he said.

    myn/ma