BOONI: After fixing public transport fares following meetings with representatives of transporters, the district administration of Upper Chitral has given a free hand to drivers to fleece the commuters.
Soon after fixing the fares from Booni to all areas in Upper Chitral about two months ago, the district administration had claimed that the fares would be strictly implemented. It had also directed the drivers to display the fare list prominently in their vehicles to facilitate the travellers.
However, no action was taken to ensure the implementation of the fares and it seems the announcement was just a publicity stunt.
People complained that on paper the official fare between Booni and Reshun was Rs100 but the drivers were charging passengers Rs150.
Similary, the drivers are taking Rs150 per passenger between Parwak and Booni instead of Rs80 for Parwak lower and Rs100 for Parwak upper.
Passengers also told ChitralToday that against the official fare of Rs300, the drivers were charging them Rs500 from Booni to Dizg, Istach etc., while for upper Yarkhun areas there was never any fixed fare and it was up to the sweet wish of the drivers to fix the amount and fleece the travellers.
Even the administration could not ensure implementation of its fare between Booni and Mastuj which was fixed at Rs150 but the drivers are pocketing Rs200 to Rs250 from each passenger.
From Booni to Chapali and Kargin, the official fare is Rs190 to Rs200 but the drivers are charging Rs300 per passenger.
Besides, the drivers have established bus stands in fifferent areas on their own and are fleeing the commuters without any checks.
Public circles here demanded that the tehsil and district administration as well as the police should ensure their writ and take action against drivers violating the officially fixed fares.–Karim Ullah