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Transporters threaten protest, hike in fares

January 01, 2011

A worker displaying the new prizes after increase in fuel prizes at fuel station on Saturday. – Photo by APP

PESHAWAR: Criticising the government’s decision regarding increase in prices of petroleum products, the public transport operators have threatened to organise a protest on Sunday and revise fares.

“The protest demonstration will be held at G.T. Road near Haji Camp Bus Stand at 10am to register our protest against raise in the prices of petroleum products,” said an office-bearer of Sarhad Transport Owners Federation.

A meeting of the representatives of different transport unions was held at the general bus stand with chairman of legal action committee of Sarhad Transport Owners Federation Haji Ihsanullah in the chair.

The meeting demanded of the government to revoke the decision regarding increase in fuel prices. “We will also increase fares at our own as government is reluctant to consider our application, we have submitted with officials concerned in this regard,” Haji Ihsan said.

He said that during the past few months, prices of petroleum products had been increased three times but transporters had so far not raised fares. “Now it is our compulsion to revise the fares,” he added.

He said that with increase in diesel prices the rates of Mobil oil and hydraulic oil had also been soared. He said that provincial government had devised a slab-based formula for increase in fares but it was no more applicable.

“As per the formula we have to increase one rupee for single passenger per kilometre,” he said. He added that the formula was applicable when per litre price of diesel was below Rs80 and now a new policy was needed.

Haji Ihsan said that owners of filling stations stopped sale of petroleum after increase in price of oil and motorists had to face problems.

“The entire game is for getting huge commissions from the oil companies and nothing else,” he alleged and suggested that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority should at least take transporters into confidence while revising the prices.

The fares, he said, would be revised at the same day for all routes. He asked the government no to take anti-people decisions as the ultimate sufferers of price-hike were poor masses.

The Urban Transport Unions president, Khan Zaman Afridi, told Dawn that transporters would hold rally on Sunday against increase in fuel prices. If government didn’t withdraw its decision they would also increase the fares, he added.

“The decision to increase the fares will be taken in a meeting of different unions on Sunday,” he said. He added that transport operators were already facing hardships as passengers were not ready to pay the existing fare of Rs9 for per bus stop in Peshawar.

Meanwhile, Jamaat-i-Islami provincial naib amir Mushtaq Ahmed Khan has condemned increase in fuel prices, saying it is tantamount to a petrol bomb on the public.

Appreciating ANP leader Haji Mohammad Adeel for raising voice against the decision, he said that it was the duty of all elected representatives to force the government to revoke the decision.

An official of Regional Transport Authority, when contacted, said that transporters had submitted an application for increase in fares. “But the fares could not be revised without approval of Peshawar commissioner,” he said.

The government, he said, was not giving proper attention to the transport department otherwise it would have streamlined the matters relating to fares, challans and renewal of route permits, etc.