23 August, 2014 / Shawwal 26, 1435

PESHAWAR, Aug 18: Like always, the people bound for their hometowns, especially Karachi, to celebrate Eidul Fitr with family have complained of being fleeced by transporters.

However, transporters insisted that unavailability of passengers had forced them into increasing fare.

“Normally, we charge a passenger Rs1,400 or Rs1,500 for Peshawar-Karachi travel but on Eid, we increase the fare by Rs200 or Rs300 to meet our expenses as only a few people leave from Peshawar to Karachi,” Ihsan Ali, driver of public transport vehicle, said.

He said mostly, people traveled from Karachi to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on festivals like Eid.

The driver, however, said fare on routes like Peshawar-Quetta hadn’t been revised.

There are also reports about increase in the fare of inter-district transport by 10 to 20 per cent.

When contacted, Urban Transport Union President Zaman Afridi said officially, fare hadn’t been revised and therefore, those charging passengers more than what had been notified by the relevant authorities violated law and deserved to be punished.He said there was a great Eid rush and as most transporters had pulled vehicles off the roads, people were in distress.

The only Special Eid Train, which had left Karachi for Peshawar on Thursday morning, reached last night after being late for five hours.

A source in the Pakistan Railways at the Cantonment Station told Dawn that the train had been schedule to reach Peshawar at 11pm on Friday night but it reached 4pm.

He said there was no power plant in the train and the passengers had to travel without fans and light on the entire way.

The source said the relatives of the passengers were waiting for the passengers at the platform who suffered heavily because there was no arrangement for Sehri’s food at the station.

He said the same train left Peshawar for Lahore with five passengers only. He said the people avoid the train due to its traditional slow movement and other problems.

“We have no information if passengers had booking from different railways stations to Lahore or not but the train is destined to reach Lahore today (Sunday),” the official said.

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