JALALABAD (PAN problems in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province.
The three-wheelers cause respiratory, cancer and skin ailments for the people due to the increasing air pollution in the city, public health official Dr. Yousuf Ahadi told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Continuous smoke damages plants, leaving parched newly-planted sapling along roads, he added.
Authorities have conducted several anti-encroachment campaigns in the city against the gas-driven rickshaws, traffic department head Col. Ghulam Dastagir Rahim said.
Resident Khalilullah said they are tired of perpetual noises and ubiquitous smoke. “Doctors twice did a nose job on me in the past two years; they told me of a tumor in my nose caused by smoke.”
He asked the government to ban the rickshaws powered by inferior gas. Thousands of saplings were planted in the spring, but only 10 percent of them remained green, said another resident, Dost Mohammad.
Rickshaw driver Ghulam Hussain said the culture of gas-driven vehicles has been imported from Pakistan. “Earlier, there were fuel rickshaws and there was no problem.
“Later, the business of gas-driven rickshaws was introduced in Peshawar and traders gradually brought the technique here,” he added. He would never use gas that causes problem for the people, Hussain vowed.
Another rickshaw driver, Saifullah, said the officials had not educated them so far on the health hazards associated with the use of gas in vehicles.