Shortage of CNG causing trouble for the cabbies

ISLAMABAD: The cabbies’ business is passing through critical juncture as the provision of the compressed natural gas (CNG), mostly used in the public transport, is available only for two days and that also only for seven hours, each day.Definitely, the most effected class from the unavailability of the CNG is the lower class, especially the cabbies that solely depend upon this, relatively cheaper, source of fuel used in the vehicle throughout the country. “I am driving a taxi since the last ten years. However, the situation was not that bad as it is turning out to be in last couple of years,” said Ramzan, a taxi driver, waiting in a long queue at a CNG station. With a sad, gloomy look at his face, he said that it was now almost impossible for him to save Rs 350 per day, which he has to pay to the owner of the taxi on daily basis.Like Ramzan, Mohammad Tahir, another taxi driver said that he hails from Murree and is in this business for over five years but is not happy with the situation emerging out of the shortage of gas. He reluctantly said that he was thinking to sell his taxi and to start some other business to earn his livelihood. “The cabbies are united at a point that there should be some proper mechanism that should be strictly implied for the public transport as they not only serve people but also feed their families,” a taxi driver said. “I think the government should fully impose a ban on using CNG by the private vehicles and leave this facility for the taxis and rickshaws. That would fulfil the gap between the supply and demand of the CNG sector,” said Mulazim Hussain, a rickshaw driver.He apprised that though the people’s focus has come down from using cabs to rickshaws, yet he fears that if the pace of gas load shedding would continue, the day is not far when the people would adieu rickshaws as well. He complained that CNG for 14 hours in two days is not more than a peanut in this traffic explosion where 95 percent of the vehicles rely on this cheap source of fuel. Though, it is a fact that one can see long queues on every CNG station and most of them are taxis, rickshaws or vans, yet the situation has not been relaxed. Ikhtiar Baig, a government employee, said that he uses a car for travelling to and from his office but he has left using the CNG from the last six months, as it was hard for him to stand in the long queues. The government’s effort of self-employment is encouraging in the light that the Punjab government has introduced the cab scheme but it would not serve its full purpose when there is a dearth of CNG, the cabbies said. 

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