KARACHI: Transport and Mass Transit Department Sindh on Thursday succeeded in convincing cargo transporters to cut down fares by eight percent in Sindh province.
The intra-city transporters have still not agreed to slash fares, causing unrest among citizens who are anxiously awaiting benefit from historical petrol price cut.
After a long discussion with the representatives of the Karachi Goods Carrier Association and the United Goods Transport Alliance, the provincial transport department issued the notification of reduction in fares by eight percent. For different distances, the reduction would be according to the weight and measurement.
The fares of taxi and rickshaws were brought down by Rs1 per km and fares of intercity buses could only be slashed by a few paisas per km.
However, Karachi transporters are still undecided, after a third time historic decrease in the prices of petroleum in markets and orders of prime minister of Pakistan to pass on the relief to the people, whether intra-city bus fares could be reduced or not.
Yet, Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) has called a meeting of transporters on Friday to deliberate on the issue of fares after that a delegation headed by President KTI Syed Irshad Bukhari would discuss the minutes of the meeting with Transport & Mass Transit Department, Sindh.
The prices of petroleum have been reduced thrice in a short span of time recently from Rs103.5 to Rs94, then to Rs84.5 per liter, and now up to Rs78.28. However, after the first cut the authorities moved to convince transporters and as a result of several meetings ended up by persuading them for reduction of Rs1 only on 1st November and more interestingly, the only rupee cut in fare could also not be practically implemented.
After the second cut government even did not bother to annoy already ‘suffering’ transporters. However, citizens’ demand has this time compelled the government to put pressure on transporters to yield a productive result.
Irshad Bukhari told PPI that the government had given option to at least cut fares on the 10 percent of buses and coaches being run on diesel, while, slashing transport fare on CNG buses was almost impossible.
However, he himself could not take a decision without consulting all the transporters, therefore, it would finally be decided after a detailed meeting on Friday.
“We are still running the buses on less fare than Punjab. The business of transport in the city is suffering such a great loss, especially due to bike rickshaws, that the number of buses has been reduced from 24,000 to 8000 within three years. Many buses’ anterior has been placed on trucks,” he said.
Bukhari said that bike rickshaws and CNG rickshaws had ruined the business of buses in the city. “I can see that there would hardly remain buses on roads if the situation continues the same.”