LAHORE - Following increase in the petrol and diesel prices to the extent of 40 per cent during the last three months, including the recent increase in petroleum products, the Punjab Transport Department has increased the fares of stages carriages and other public service transport. The fares have been increased on both inter-city routes and urban routes. The increase include 0 to 4 km Rs 8 to Rs 10, 4 to 8 km Rs 10 (same as previous), 8 to 14 km Rs 13 to Rs 15, 14 km to 22 km (same as previous) 22 km and above Rs 17 to Rs 20. Transporters have accordingly increased the stop -to-stop fare of atleast Rs 2 from the minimum Rs 8 from Monday. The inter-city rates have also been increased from 52 paisas to 60 paisas on metalled road, 53 paisas to 61 paisas on plain katcha road, 54 paisas to 62 paisas on hilkly roads etc. The increase has caused concern among the citizens. The fare has been increased by New Khan, Daewoo, Monolite, Sial Express, Niazi Express and other inter-city bus companies in the city. The wagon owners however, have not so far increased the fare. The transport companies had increased the stop to stop fare last month but deferred it voluntarily following wagon owners decision not to increase the fare. In a competitive atmosphere created by them the private transport companies withdrew their decision. However, they have now again increased the fare caring little for any reaction and got it approved by the Punjab Transport Department. The transport companies increased the fare following a decision in their meeting to increase the fare without after the increase in petroleum products. They maintained that they would certainly increase the fare unilaterally if, however, the government did not allow them to do so. According to new fares, the commuters have to pay Rs 10, Rs 15, and Rs 20 for various destinations on city roads. A commuter has to pay Rs 20 from Sanda to RA Bazar or Airport while it was Rs 13 previously. The unwary public particularly the students, labourers and industrial workers are hard hit by the increased fare. They have pleaded that the government should announced special concession for these classes while allowing increase in the fare.