Rawalpindi - In violation of the notification issued by regional transport authority (RTA) regarding reduction in public transport fares, a large number of drivers and conductors are charging previous fares on various routes of the district.

Similarly, the slash in petroleum prices made no difference for the taxi and rickshaw drivers as they are still fleecing the passengers.

During a survey conducted by this scribe on Tuesday, it was observed that many drivers and conductors were violating RTA notification.

They have not displayed the new fare chart in their vehicles and are charging extra fare from passengers.

The looting spree is unabated at the route numbers 1, 7, 21, 1C, 24 and 3. Moreover, drivers of Suzuki vans, taxis rickshaws are also in no mood to reduce fares and are charging previous fares from passengers. Several incidents of brawl between conductors and passengers were witnessed on various routes with no action on part of traffic police and RTA high-ups.

Talking to this scribe, Ahmed Shehzad, a government employee, said that though the government and RTA had ordered slash in fares, the daring drivers and conductors of Dhamial and Chakri Road were not following the orders and fleecing the passengers. “We were charged Rs 20 per head by the drivers from Chungi Number 22 to Dhamial before reduction in oil prices. Now, the drivers had not reduced fares despite slash of Rs 9 in petroleum prices,” he said.

Shiza Khan, a student, said that she was very happy after listening to that prices of petrol had been cut down and now public would be benefited.

But the public transporters are on looting mission by charging extra fares, she added.

However, Wagon Union President Malik Muhammad Bashir, when contacted, was of view that the new fare lists had been displayed in all the wagons plying on route number 1 and the passengers were also being charged new fares in accordance with RTA orders.

Secretary RTA Awais Tarar, while talking to The Nation, expressed his resentment over defiance of public transporters and vowed to take strict action against all the transports involved in charging extra fares.

He said that for the purpose, three special teams had also been constituted which would monitor the situation on local routes. He said that RTA also displayed new fare lists on all the bus terminals with a toll free complaint number on which the passengers could lodge their complaints. “The RTA will entrain all the complaints and take action against the violators within 24 hours,” Awais Tarar said.

He informed that RTA impounded seven vehicles on account of overcharging, besides imposing Rs 14,000 fine.