PESHAWAR: Following increase in the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) the transporters have unilaterally raised the fare on different routes in the provincial metropolis.

Some complainants said that the transport operatives had increased the fare by almost 100 per cent though the government had not issued any revised fare list so far.

“We have voted for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the hope that it will do justice with the people, but its government proved to be worse than others as it started price hike right from its inception,” said Mehmood Khan, an employee of a private organisation.

Another passenger, Hameedur Rehman, said that he daily commuted between Shabqadar and Peshawar in connection with his duty at a shop and could not afford the increased fare. “We paid a fare of Rs20 today from Hashtnagri to Jail Road instead of earlier Rs10,” he said.

However, Public Transport Owners Association president Khan Zaman Afridi said that they had not increased the fare so far. He said that the price of CNG had been increased from Rs96 per kg to Rs109 per kg, but no revised fare list was issued to the transporters.

“Some individuals might have started overcharging passengers,” he said and warned that if the government did not issue fare list till Sunday the transporters would observe sit-in outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly building on Monday.

Efforts were made to get version of the transport department, but this scribe could not approach the relevant authorities on phone.

Meanwhile, All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) in a statement on Friday rejected the price increase and said that the decision to increase the gas tariff would directly affect masses and destroy the CNG industry.

APCNGA central leader Ghiyas Paracha said that the closure of CNG industry would eat up Rs450 billion investments and leave many jobless. He said that the government had turned down the proposal to increase oil prices to provide relief to masses, therefore, it should also withdraw the gas tariff hike.

He said that the closure of CNG industry would increase the oil import bill and damage forex reserves. He said that gas price was increased from Sept 27 without informing them. He called upon the government to protect the CNG sector otherwise masses would turn to use of petrol, resulting in heavy losses.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2018