Punjab ombudsman orders formulating of system to calculate transport fares

LAHORE: Punjab Ombudsman retired Major Azam Suleman Khan has taken notice of the trend of increase in public transport fares.

He took notice of a news report about the weak check and balance system relating to fares of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses due to fluctuation in petroleum prices. This, often, results in the demand for extra fares by the transporters.

The transport department constituted a committee with minister transport as its convener along with six departmental secretaries as members through a notification on August 25 last year to review and decide public transport fares through a devised system.

The ombudsman subpoenaed the PTA secretary to assemble the said meeting at the earliest and the office of Punjab ombudsman be informed about the subsequent development.

A meeting was chaired by the transport minister on August 7 this year to take stock of the situation and it was decided to submit a detailed report in the next meeting to devise a pattern of public transport fares while holding fares’ comparison with other provinces.

Similarly, the law department will be approached for amendment in Section 45 of the motor vehicles ordinance.

In this regard, a letter was also sent to the Punjab chief secretary on the direction of the Khan so that the transport department ensures a check over public transport fares through a mechanism.

The fares of AC and non-AC transport should be determined according to variations in petroleum prices so that transporters may not fleece the commuters and the citizens are facilitated.

Similarly, the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) should regularly check the quality of refreshments given in AC buses to ensure that food standards are maintained.

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