Dawn News

Transporters refuse to reduce fares

RAWALPINDI, Oct 26: On the directive of the Supreme Court, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has slashed the CNG prices by Rs30 per kilogramme but the commuters could not get the benefit as public transporters refused to lower the fares.

The transporters said until they receive a notification from the Punjab transport department, they would not decrease the fares.

As there are four-day Eid holidays, the transporters, including Suzuki van drivers, will continue fleecing the public.

People transporting animals from cattle markets to their houses also complained that Suzuki drivers were charging high rates despite reduction in the CNG prices.

“The benefit of the decision has not reached the citizens as I paid the old fare while travelling from Saddar to Raja Bazaar,” said Mohammad Safdar, a resident of Mohanpura.

He said though the distance between his home and Saddar was hardly three to four kilometres, the cabbies charged between Rs70 and Rs80.

Commuters said wagons plying between the twin cities still charged Rs15 as the minimum fare. “I went from Zero Point to F-6 on a wagon and paid Rs25,” said Inayat Shah, a security guard.

Imtiaz Butt, a commuter, said the taxi drivers demanded Rs200 from Zero Point to I-9 Islamabad. The fare was the same even before the reduction in CNG prices.

People who travelled by taxi from Rawalpindi to the cattle market at I-II, Islamabad, said the fares were still high. “I used to pay Rs120 from Shamsabad to Pirwadhai but today the fare stood at Rs200,” said Imran Ahmed.

But the public transporters refuted commuters’ claims and said they were charging fares according to the notification of the Punjab government.“We will reduce the fares after receiving the notification from the provincial transport authority,” said Malik Sultan Awan, the president of the united transport association.

He said the transporters welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on CNG prices. However, he refused to reduce the fares which increased twice during the last three months.

When contacted, secretary Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Syed Asad Kazmi told Dawn that the reduction in CNG prices was announced late Thursday night and the provincial departments remained closed for the Eid holidays.

“After the holidays, we will decide about the reduction of the fares.” He said till the announcement of the new fares, the RTA would not take action against the transporters.

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