Inter-city bus owners withdraw fare hike

KARACHI: Inter-city bus owners have drawn back unilateral increment in fares on the eve of Eidul Fitr after the interference of Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui.The Commissioner on getting complaints regarding fare hike, took immediate notice and called an emergency meeting. DIG Traffic Sain Rakhio Meerani, Deputy Commissioner North Mustafa Jamal Qazi, secretary regional transport authority (RTA), secretary public transport authority (PTA), other senior officers of administration and inter-city bus owners also present in the meeting.Siddiqui directed bus owners to take back the increased fare, which they acceded on the spot. He said the buses running in and out of the city should also not be overloaded.A vigilance committee headed by Qazi comprising secretary RTA and secretary PTA was formed that would ensure action on the decision. President Sindh Air-conditioned Bus Owners Association (SABOA) Malik Muhammed Riaz Awan and Secretary SABOA Haji Abdul Rauf Khan would represent bus owners.It was decided the vigilance committee would establish a complaint centre, which would be supervised by secretary PTA. The committee would monitor the action on the decisions taken in the meeting. Bus owners of the inter-city bus service would display banners, depicting government fixed fares, in all the bus stands. The citizens would be requested to report the complaint centre about the people charging extra fares. Strict action would be taken against the bus owners who acted against the decision.Deputy commissioners were directed to perform their role to keep inter-city buses according to rules and regulations.Siddiqui advised the citizens to buy tickets from coach offices and make complaint against black marketers.Citizens could report their complaint on commissioner control number 021-99203443 and rescue number 1299, he said. Progress of BRT project reviewed: Transport problems in Karachi would lessen to a greater extent with the completion of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT-Blue Line) Project.Administrator Karachi Rauf Akhtar Farooqui said this would be the best transport facility for passengers travelling from Sohrab Goth to Tower, therefore all utility services providers prepare urgent plan for shifting of their services from the BRT Blue Line route so that this project which was going to start in next few months could be completed in time.A joint meeting of utility services providers and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) officers planned for finalisation of survey of utility services coming in the way of Blue Line project and their shifting was reviewed in detail.It was informed the survey of utility services would be completed in accordance with the documents provided by the project consultant and there would be no barrier once the work on this project started. Senior Director Transport Muhammad Ather on project said, the KMC was already coordinating with the utility services providers and a joint strategy had been worked out in this connection. The administrator said all civic bodies should own their city as city problems could be solved only through joint efforts of everyone.He appreciated the completion of homework by services providers for shifting of their services.This being a build-operate-transfer based project would be better that all utility services providers under the spirit of serving the city carryout shifting of their respective services with their own resources, he added.He directed the KMC officers to maintain regular coordination with the concerned bodies and attempt for immediate solution to problems.

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