ISLAMABAD: The Administration of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), the Enforcement Directorate of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), the Police Station of Karachi Company and the administration of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) have turned a blind eye toward the tout mafia that is running the show outside the NBP’s G-9 Branch. There are around nine stalls with umbrellas, desks and chairs of these touts right outside the bank. Every stall is mounted by multiple agents, who attract every bank visitor with hooting from the outset. It has been noted by Daily Times that almost every single day, around 200 to 300 people visit the NBP to submit their passport fees. Due to long queues and the scorching heat many of the depositors find it hard to bear the heat. Many people have no other option but to opt for the services of so-called facilitators who are actually agents and taking the benefit of the long queues. These agents charge an extra amount of Rs 400 to Rs 1000, depending upon the category of the case from each individual. Higher rates are demanded from people hailing from adjacent rural areas of capital. Sources inside the NBP claim that the Bank Manager had ordered the staff to open one counter at one time that would collect the traffic challans as well as the passport fees. Abdul Rehman, Cashier NBP, G-9 Branch said that after every five to 10 minutes he had to accommodate touts and agents who pay no heed to the long queues. “As an individual, I have nothing in my power. It is the duty of the high-ups to take notice of such gross activities,” he added. Ahsan, Branch Manager, while talking to this scribe initially said that there was no tout mafia working in his premise. “Activities that are happening outside his branch are not my responsibility,” he said. “Due to the shortage of staff we have only offered one counter. When asked whether he had lodged any complaints with the CDA, the ICT Administration or police. The manager couldn’t provide any answer to this query”, he added. Sources revealed that there was no shortage of staff at the branch. “Every single day there are couples of skirmishes between the clients and the touts. The bank staff and security guard mediate between them whenever a conflict happens,” said an employee who requested anonymity. Another staff member of the bank said that though there were two separate counters for collecting the passport fees and the traffic challans, but only one is made operational, so that the tout mafia may take advantage of the long queues. Deputy Director Enforcement, Muhammad Kashif, said that he had recently taken charge of his new responsibility and would surely look into the matter on a priority basis. Additional Deputy Commissioner General, Abdul Sattar Isani, when contacted for his comments on the matter said that if this was happening it was wrong and he would do his bid to end the foul practice. “I’ll send a team tomorrow, on Thursday,” he concluded. Hassan, a visitor of the NBP requested the big bosses of the civic management to take strict action against the tout mafia.