PESHAWAR: The authorities’ decision to close CNG stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the pretext of ensuring proper gas supply to domestic consumers has served to compound the problems faced by commuters, particularly the employees of public and private sector institutions.
Due to the unavailability of cheap fuel, owners of public transport vehicles have increased their fares by 40 to 50 percent on various routes within the provincial capital. The owners of vehicles transporting people from suburban localities to the capital have also increased their fares.
Similarly, the persons who use their own vehicles to commute to and from their workplaces are also facing hardship due to the closure of CNG stations.
Meanwhile, although the CNG stations have been closed since last one week, the domestic consumers are still complaining of gas load-shedding and non-availability of gas for cooking purposes.
Due to the increase in fares coupled with non-availability of buses, coaches and rickshaws on roads, employees, particularly those working at public sector organisations, are either taking a leave or absenting themselves from work.
On the directives of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, the commissioner of Peshawar Division has formed a committee for re-fixation of transport fares and asked it to issue a new fare list within a period of 72 hours.
The government is under fire from the owners of CNG stations, transporters and auto-rickshaw associations who are demanding the immediate reopening of the filling stations to minimise the woes of the people.
However, the regional transport authorities have launched a crackdown on transporters to address public complaints regarding overcharging by them. More than 70 vehicles have been impounded and heavy penalties imposed on their owners as a result.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023
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