KARACHI: Karachi transporters are still undecided, even after a third time decrease in the prices of petroleum in local 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.
However, Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) has called a meeting of public 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 could also practically not be 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 that are being run on diesel, while, slashing transport fare on CNG buses was almost impossible. However, as he himself could not take a decision without consulting all the transporters; therefore, it would finally be decided after a detailed meeting of transporters on Friday.
“We are still running the buses on less fare than Punjab. The business of public transport in the city is suffering such a great loss, especially due to Chingchis, that the number of minibuses had been reduced from 24,000 to 8000 within 3 years. Many minibuses have already been converted into mini-trucks,” he said.
Bukhari said that Chingchi and CNG rickshaws had ruined the business of public transport buses in the city. “I can see that there would hardly remain public transport buses on roads if the situation continues.”