While a majority of transporters in Mirpur are unwilling to reduce fares following the reduction in fuel prices, the ones that have are overloading and inconveniencing travellers.
Despite warnings from the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) transport authority, a number of transporters plying vehicles from Mirpur to Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Mandi Bahaudin and Muzaffarabad and within the city have refused to reduce fares. The owners that have complied have lowered fares by Rs10.
However, locals claim that the transporters, especially those plying passenger vans, have started boarding four additional passengers. “Travelling in an overloaded vehicle is difficult and becomes unbearable in the scorching summer,” said Sarosh Khan, a local student, who had come to Mirpur from Islamabad.
AJK Transport Authority Secretary Adil Mahmood Khan assured that the authority will get the transporters to reduce fares.
He said that route permits of the vehicles involved in overcharging and overloading will be cancelled during surprise checking on inter-city and inter-district routes.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2012.