Powerful transporters, plying their vehicles on local and long routes, are openly violating Punjab Transport Authority’s (PTA) notification regarding reduction in fares, and charging commuters according to old fares list. On the other hand, the concerned District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA) is seemed totally indifferent towards the issue.
Incidents of brawls between commuters and conductors on fare matter are being reported daily since the issuance of RTA notification, as commuters demand new fares list from conductors, while they flatly say that they have not received any new fares list yet.
On Friday, Punjab Transport Authority (PTA) Secretary Muhammad Yousaf issued a notification and reduced fares by Rs1 and Rs2 stop-by-stop. He had ordered concerned authorities to implement the notification with immediate effect. But, powerful transporters defying the orders have not yet displayed the new fares lists and are charging high fares from commuters. Some of the drivers and conductors have displayed decreased fare lists but charging fares according to diesel prices while they were plying vehicles on compressed natural gas (CNG).
A survey conducted by ‘The News’ reveals that all drivers and conductors are charging fares according to old fares list. If a commuter asks a conductor for taking fare according to new fares list he present excuse that DRTA has not issued the list yet.
Muhammad Noman, a commuter, said that when concerned authorities increased fares all transporters have displayed revised list immediately, but now when fares have been reduced no transporter was interested to display the new list.
When ‘The News’ contacted, District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA) Secretary Syed Asad Raza Kazmi claimed that they have issued decreased fares list to all transporters. He said that he would not spare any violator at any cost. He said that his staff have impounded some vehicles for their conductors were charging high fares. “Commuters should complain me against fare violation,” he said.
When ‘The News’ contacted Mutahidda Transport Union (MTU) President Malik Muhammad Sultan, he defended all drivers and conductors and said that they are not doing any violation. He rejected all allegations and said that they would take strict action against drivers and conductors who were overcharging. He said that they have rejected the PTA notification regarding decrease in fares.
Talking to ‘The News’, the commuter said that Punjab Transport Authority (PTA) handled the matter very cleverly and provided maximum relief to the powerful transporters, yet the transporters are not ready even to provide such a meagre relief to the people. They urged Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to personally intervene in the matter to provide relief to the public.