ISLAMABAD: As Pakistanis prepare to go home to celebrate Eid with their families, transporters are doing their best to fleece them.
Commuters complain that transport costs are very high and they can barely afford to visit their loved ones. The taxi fare from Rawalpindi to Islamabad is between Rs300 and Rs400. It is still cheaper to travel by van for Rs30 to Rs40, but the cost multiplies with the number of family members.
Bilal, a taxi driver hailing from Peshawar, said it costs between Rs200 to Rs220 per head to travel from Islamabad to Peshawar. It is still cheaper for individuals and especially families to travel inter-city by vans, but fares have increased as access to CNG has become increasingly limited, he added.
“CNG rates vary from Rs60 to Rs65 per kilogramme, but it is only available once a week and that too for only six hours from 9am to 3pm.” It will however be available round-the-clock during Eid holidays in Punjab, according to a notification.
Riyasat from Taxila, who works at a house in Islamabad said he often couldn’t take his family for a day out as fares are unbearably high. Ashiq Abbasi, a driver at a house in Rawalpindi said that it was very difficult for him to regularly see his family in Murree as travel was practically unaffordable.
He said he was unable to match the lifestyle of his employers who travel by car. Petrol prices have come down recently from Rs114 per litre to Rs107.97, but most public vehicles run on diesel.
Zohair Waheed, assistant manager at SPARC said international oil prices control the price of petrol and diesel in the market.