The term double-decker reminds me of my early childhood days in Lahore. In the 1950s, I remember commuting from the railway station to Samanabad in Lahore. At the time, the double-decker was the only mode of public transportation, other than tongas, in the city. In the mid-1960s, with the introduction of taxis and private van services, these buses gradually vanished from the scene. A few years ago, some of these double-deckers were seen running between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Again, the government could not afford running the operations in loss, and, hence, the service was stopped. They were also found unsuitable for some of the city roads. One of these buses got stuck up while passing under a bridge because of its height. Luckily no one was hurt.

Now, only two to three buses can be seen around, but they are meant only for tourists visiting historical sites in and around Islamabad. Such top-open buses, as is wll-known, are very popular in London for sightseeing. I am sure Pakistan can also make a better, safer and friendlier use of these buses, especially in terms of tourism promotion.

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