LAHORE: There was a huge rush at intercity bus terminals and Lahore Railway Station on Saturday as a large number of people were leaving the provincial capital to celebrate Eidul Azha with their families in their hometowns.
A large number of people were finding tickets at bus terminals on Bund Road and Thokar Niaz Baig. Various citizens complained that bus operators were overcharging passengers.
A passenger named Suleman Khan, who was traveling from Lahore to Bahawalnagar, said that there was a huge rush at the bus terminal. “The fare for all destinations have been jacked up by Rs150-200 per passenger”.
Another passenger, Inayat Hussain, told The Express Tribune that he had been waiting for hours to get a bus ticket for his hometown near Vehari, but could not succeed. “I have missed a chance on three buses, but still trying my luck,” he said. He also complained about overcharging by bus operators and ticket clerks.
Transporters have increased bus fare by 30-40% to fleece common citizens, he said. The passenger added the government should take stern action against this gross violation.
A similar rush was witnessed at Lahore Railway Station as many passengers were also leaving the city to celebrate Eidul Azha with their loved ones.
Following citizens’ complaints and media reports, the district administration took notice of the issue. On the orders of Lahore Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed, the district administration officials randomly stopped intercity buses at different exit points of the city and asked passengers about overcharging.
Several passengers complained about inflated ticket prices. The district officials found nearly 136 passengers who complained about inflated ticket rates. The district administration directed transport operators to return extra money and a sum of Rs12,600 was recovered from operators.
The district officials also imposed a Rs60,000 fine on transporters who were involved in overcharging passengers. A spokesman pointed out that the district officials checked around 37 vehicles and found 12 buses guilty for overcharging passengers on which each bus was slapped a penalty of Rs5,500. The deputy commissioner has directed officials concerned to check and monitor fares of buses for all destinations.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2019.