Permitting the permitless: Lawful taxicabs banned, permitless being allowed at UoP campus

Muhammad Shahid

PESHAWAR: While the University of Peshawar is taking measures to boost security on campus, the permitless taxicabs are entering the varsity freely and it may pose security threats.

The university administration has banned yellow cabs but the cabs of other colours are freely roaming in the campus.

Driver of a yellow cab, Abdullah, told this scribe that he was having proper permit with his vehicle but complained that the university administration was not allowing his vehicle to enter the campus.

“Those cabdrivers, who are illegally plying various routes because they don’t have permits for the vehicles, are let enter the campus but we, having proper permits, are not allowed to enter the university campus,” he added.

He said that some people never travel in cabs that do not have permits because that can prove risky.

Explaining the possible risk, the driver said that in case there is some contraband with a passenger and the police seize the material during checking, a cabdriver with permits can prove that he is just a driver and not involved in any illegality. However, if a taxicab driver is not having permit, he would also be arrested along with the wrongdoer since it cannot be established whether the car is a taxicab or a private one.

A policeman at the campus told this scribe that they have been directed to stop entry of cabs into the campus.

When told that many cabs are entering the campus, he said those vehicles were private and not cabs.

“We really don’t know whether the other vehicles are cabs or private cars, that is why we don’t care if they enter the campus, but we don’t let a yellow taxicab to enter the campus,” stated a cop deployed at a gate of the university.

It may be mentioned here that some cabdrivers entering the campus tell the policemen at the gates that their vehicles are not taxicabs but private ones and thus they dodge the policemen.

A driver of a yellow cab told this scribe that the university administration should allow the cabs having permits to enter the campus and ban those that do not have permits because permitless cabs are illegal.

Once this scribe entered the campus in a red-colour cab and the campus police did not even ask whether the vehicle was private or a cab.

The driver said: “If asked, you should not tell the policemen that it is a cab. We will just tell them this is our private car,” the driver told this scribe while entering the campus.

An employee of the campus, while seeking anonymity, told this scribe that there were some employees of the campus owning taxicabs of other colours (not yellow).

“If they allow the yellow cabs, most people then don’t like to travel in their (university employees’) cabs because yellow cabs are preferred by the public,” he added.

Kamran, an employee of a public sector organisation and a frequent visitor of the campus, stated that the idea of ban on the taxicabs was a bad one.

“Sometimes students are having luggage and it becomes very difficult to take the luggage to hostels late in evening when university’s own transport service is not available,” he added.

Another student, Jawad, told this correspondent that the authorities should allow the cabs with permits to enter the campus and ban those taxicabs that do not have permits.

The security in-charge of the campus, Dr Fazal Sher, told this scribe that they had banned all taxicabs, whether yellow or others, but because yellow cabs are identified easily, those cannot enter the university premises.

“Sometimes we allow a cab to enter the campus if it is carrying a patient or a disabled person,” he added.

He said that at times they also allowed a cab if it was carrying foodstuff of traders who have shops on campus.

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