Sindh cabinet to mull over public bus fare hike in next meeting

Our Correspondent
Sunday, May 29, 2022

The next meeting of the Sindh cabinet will take up the issue of likely increase in the fare of intra-Karachi public transport following the phenomenal hike in petroleum prices in Pakistan.

Sindh Information and Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said this on Saturday as he held a meeting with representative associations of public transport operators, who demanded that the provincial government should allow them to immediately raise the fare in view of the petroleum price hike.

They said public transport carriers have been incurring losses due to the petroleum price hike. Memon assured them that their issues will be resolved soon.

He said the provincial government does not want to further burden the public after the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel. He appealed to the transporters not to unilaterally increase the fare until the cabinet makes a decision on the matter.

Memon and the transporters discussed the affairs related to route permits for public transport vehicles, the fitness of passenger carriers and the availability of modern transport facilities in the city. The transporters informed the minister about their problems they face while operating their buses on intra-city, inter-city and inter-provincial routes.

Memon said the transport authorities will take stern action against the passenger carriers that are unfit for operation. He gave the transporters until August 1 to ensure the fitness and maintenance of their buses. He said harmful emissions from unfit vehicles have been contributing to environmental degradation.

He told the transport secretary that route permits should be cancelled within a week of their issuance if the relevant transporters fail to operate their buses after securing the permission. He said route permits for public buses should be renewed on a yearly basis instead of the current practice of renewing them every three years.

He also said the transport department has been making efforts so that large air-conditioned buses start plying in Karachi on intra-city routes within two years at the very latest.

Those who attended the meeting included Irshad Bukhari and Haji Tawab of the Karachi Transport Ittehad, Shabbar Muneeb and Rabnawaz Muzaffar of the Sindh Intra-city Bus Service, Afzal Sheikh of the Sindh Bus Owners Association, and representatives of the Qingqi Rickshaw Association.