The intercity bus operators arbitrarily increased the fares of various routes during the last 10 days of Ramzan in order to mint money from the passengers who had to board these buses to reach their destinations before or by Eidul Fitr.
The passengers were being charged additional amount of Rs200 to Rs500 for a seat, while the transporters also placed extra seats in these buses to exploit the passengers as much as possible.
These passengers were being forced to travel in pressing condition without being provided with necessary facilities.
A large number of people, who work in Karachi, had left with little option but to travel in these buses in order to reach their native towns and villages to celebrate Eidul Fitr with their beloved ones.
Fully exploiting the non-availability of trains for the upcountry-bound passengers, these intercity bus operators had arbitrary increased the fares on the eve of Eidul Fitr.
A survey conducted by The News revealed that the transporters had been charging Rs300 extra for Karachi to Rawalpindi; while Lahore fare was increased by Rs400 at Rs2400 and Karachi to Muzffarabad and Karachi to Mansehra fare by Rs400 at Rs2400.
Likewise, Karachi to Quetta bus fare was increased by Rs500 at Rs1700 and Karachi to Fateh Jang fare by Rs200 at Rs2000.
Karachi to Mianwali fare increased from Rs 1700 to Rs2000, while the fare from Karachi to Larkana, Khairpur and Sukkar was increased by Rs200 at Rs1000. During the last days of Ramazan, the transporters also stopped making reservations, which further compounded the problems of the passengers.
The affected passengers described this phenomenon as negligence on the part of the provincial transport department which, according to them, completely failed to address such issues. They said that the fares of intercity buses had been increased several times during the past few years, while the transport companies also withdrew some facilities that were previously being provided to the passengers.
When asked about this increase in fares, the transporters said that they have to bring back their buses to Karachi empty during the last 10 days of Ramzan so they were charging extra amount in order to cover up any potential loss while driving the buses back to Karachi. They said that they would withdraw this increase in fares after Eid.
The transporters, however, claimed that they were charging less fare as compared to the official fare rate list of the government.