ISLAMABAD: Transporters at twin cities are fleecing commuters by charging twice the normal fares on various inter-city routes between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Traffic in the twin-cities has been choked for over a week because of Tehrik-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah’s (TLYR) protest at Faizabad interchange.
Commuters have shifted from the Metro Bus, which was closed due to the sit-in, to the local transport ever since the start of sit-in. The commuters moving for different routes from Faizabad, Pirwadhai, Peshawar Mor, Murree road, Bari Imam, Abpara and other inter-city locations.
A resident of Rawalpindi Shahzad Khan said that the residents are facing severe difficulties in use of local transport. “It is very difficult to travel to our offices especially when we are overcharged and traffic wardens are nowhere to be see,” Khan said.
At certain places, desperate commuters could be seen indulged in heated exchange with drivers and conductors for charging more than the normal fares. Also, some greedy transporters have installed additional seats to squeeze in more people. “The transporters are also forcing us to either keep standing or sit on top of roofs to reach their destinations,” he said.
The commuters at certain locations on inter-city routes criticized the authorities for failing to stop the transporters from indulging in such activities.
While talking to Pakistan Today, a public transport driver Ishfaq said that “since the roads are closed due to the sit-in of TYLR, we have to cover extra distance and therefore we charge extra route”.
Transporters don’t complete their routes which is another major problem which the commuters are facing. Some inter-city roads are closed so the transporters took advantage of the protest by charging more than normal fare but drop the passengers midway during the journey.
Sajid Abbas employee of Pakistan Secretariat is also facing similar problems. “Since I am the regular commuter from Rawalpindi to Islamabad, the non-completion of route by transporters is causing a lot of problems for the employees of Pak Secretariat,” he said. “We brought this problem into the notice of high officials but they are looking helpless since nothing is being done in this regard,” he said.
While talking to Pakistan Today, Additional Deputy Commissioner Islamabad said that police usually bars these transporters from doing such things, however, traffic police these days is involved in traffic control so overcharging made by transporters gets overlooked.
“These illegal things are happening and definitely we will look into this and will take action soon,” he said. When contacted Regional Traffic Authority (RTA) official Rawalpindi, Khalid Yameen Satti was not available for comment.