Due to an increase of Rs20 in the per kilogramme (kg) price of compressed natural gas (CNG), the Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) has announced their strike on July 10.
The transporters’ association met on Wednesday and made the decision of going on strike in the already transport-starved city. After the increase in its price, the CNG costs Rs123 per kg in Sindh.
KTI Secretary Arshad Bukhari said due to the heavy increase in the CNG price, it was not possible for them to run buses without increasing fares. Meanwhile, the ride-hailing services have already announced an increase of five per cent in their fares while the prices of train tickets have also been increased since July 1 by two to eight per cent.
Speaking to The News, KTI Vice Chairman Mehmood Afridi said when the CNG price was earlier increased by Rs23, they were not allowed to increase their fares by the Sindh government. “Now, when the fares are increased by Rs20, it has become completely impossible to run our buses,” he said, adding that now they would only operate if they were allowed to increase their fares by a significant amount as an increase of just Rs2 or Rs3 would not help them.
Afridi said the transporters wanted the bus fares to be increased by more than Rs10 at least. He explained that the Sindh government had already increased charges of their route permits and wheel tax. “How can we ply our buses with old fares?” he asked and added that due to the increase in dollar rate, prices of spare parts of the buses had also increased substantially.
The transporters would suggest their new fares after calculations, Afridi said, adding that he, however, did not expect that the provincial government would agree to them. He lamented that both the Sindh and federal governments were not willing to resolve their issues. On July 8, Monday, he said, the transporters would hold another meeting in which they would decide whether or not they would continue their strike for an indefinite period.
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