Karachi commuters fleeced, yet again


Karachi: Karachi commuters were once again fleeced with the provincial government and the powerful public transporter mafia decided not to reduce fares of buses being run on CNG. This is not the first time that the commuters of Karachi are fleeced by the strong nexus.

The present formula on which the bus fares in Karachi are based is not based solely on CNG and diesel use, and it is mix of CNG+ diesel usage; therefore, it is absurd that the bus fares on CNG-run vehicles would not be reduced as there is no separate CNG-run class of public transport vehicles not there is any separate formula of CNG-based bus fares. There is no separate color code for CNG-run and diesel-run buses or minibuses and the transporters would themselves determine which bus they are running on diesel and which on the CNG. Nowhere in world the urban commuters are cheated like they are exploited in Karachi.

The lame excuse of public transporters of not to reduce fare of CNG minibuses and its readily acceptance by the provincial government only shows how these two powerful stakeholders are joined to exploit the commuters of Karachi. However, there is no consumer protection law in the province and main political parties of Karachi overtly or covertly favor public transporters not commuters.

The Karachi commuters’ rights campaign (KCRC) showing its dismay on not reducing bus fares in Karachi, proportionally with the cut of oil rates, has once again demanded that a new formula of bus fares in Karachi solely on the basis of CNG used be calculated with the help of third party experts, preferably transport engineering professors of NED University of Engineering and Technology. There should be a provision of separate bus fares for the days when CNG is not available in the city.

The Campaign was dismayed that the public transporters of Karachi did not give benefit of three cuts in oil prices to the commuters of the city and sadly the Sindh transport department also remained hand in glove with them.

The Campaign reiterated its demand that all public transport vehicles in Karachi be pained in red color, the so-called ‘Coaches” be declared as ordinary minibuses as they do not run on seat by seat basis, rooftops from all minibuses should be removed, commuters be given tickets after chagrining fare, minibuses be replaced with wide-bodies buses, and new bus routes be announced and given to the transporters who are willing to run road-fit wide-bodies CNG buses on them and the lingering demand of Karachiites to revive Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) should be accepted.

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