KOHAT: Hundreds of residents here have complained on the Citizen’s Portal against overcharging by transporters on the local and inter-district routes and the silence of Regional Transport Authority and traffic wardens on the issue.

They said four passengers were being huddled up on seats with the capacity for three in flying coaches on Peshawar, Bannu, Rawalpindi, and Hangu routes.

The drivers and station managers forced 18 people on seats made for 15 passengers and thus they collected Rs600-1,200 more from each side depending on routes.

Haji Adeel, who regularly travels on business trips to Peshawar and on local routes, regretted that the Suzuki and pickup van drivers seated more than 20 passengers on the seats made for 16. He said the drivers also allowed passengers to sit on roofs of their vans on the local routes.

He said that on inter-district routes the passengers were seated shoulder to shoulder, which caused suffocation on long journeys.

Reacting to the complaints by hundreds of passengers on the Citizen’s Portal against an unrealistic rise in fares, RTA secretary Mr Samiullah had doubled the fine for violation of rules by drivers on the local and inter-district routes.

Speaking at a press conference along with chief traffic warden Faheem Bangash on Thursday, the secretary said they had called the meeting of all the drivers and bus stand owners and briefed them about the government fixed fares.

However, he regretted that despite that the drivers raised the fares on their own.

The traffic warden said the fares were never implemented rather the drivers increased passengers by seating four of them on seats reserved for only three.

The secretary said they had fixed the fare of Rs1.43 per mile per passenger for local transport, while the fines had been increased for traffic rules violations.

WAPDA EMPLOYEES PROTEST: The leaders of Hydroelectric Workers Union, Pesco Kohat, at a protest rally here on Thursday condemned fresh employments without work charge and pension, and criticised the government over proposed privatisation of Wapda.

Speaking on the occasion, provincial vice-chairman Younis Shah, chairman of Kohat division Farmanullah and other union office-bearers demanded raise in salaries according to the price hike.

They demanded early employment on sons’ quota and filling of all the 700 vacant posts.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2021

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