islamabad - The local transporters of the federal city on Friday started overcharging the commuters without any official announcement regarding increase in public transport fares.

Although, no increase in public transport was approved by the local transport authority, the transporters started fleecing commuters after the recent Rs3.56 increase in petroleum prices by the government.

An official told The Nation that transporters on every route are charging five rupees extra per stop from the commuters without any set formula. He said that transporters on some specific routes are also charging up to Rs10 from the commuters.

He said that the local transporters had threatened of going on strike if their demand of increasing the fare was not accepted by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) transport authority.

The official said that transport authority had not revised the previous list of fares while the transporters themselves started overcharging the commuters.

He added that sudden and uncheck increase without following the formula is illegal, however, the transport authority is feared of wheel jam strike if any action was taken against the transporters.

He said that as per the price increase formula only two rupees could be increased per kilometre while transporters are charging from Rs5 to Rs10 per kilometre.

He added that hundreds of vehicles are given route permits to commute between twin cities and every area of the city.

The official said that a large number of vehicles have installed CNG cylinders but increased the fares with increase in petroleum prices. “Owners of the vehicles are following the policy of running their transports on the CNG but demand increase in fare with increase in petroleum prices,” he said.

The official added that no official notification has been issued by the transport authority so far.

Meanwhile, a driver Ahmed Khan with the route permit on the Kashmir Highway said that transporters on this road have decided to increase Rs10 in fare after recent increase in petroleum prices.

He said that after the increase in fares each commuter has to pay Rs40 on travelling from G.T Road to the Peshawar Mor. He said that though his vehicle is also functional on CNG, the previous prices were inflicting a loss on transporters.

Another transporter Amjad Iqbal informed The Nation that the government in recent past increased the petroleum prices from Rs62 per litre to above Rs88. He said no increase in fares was made by transporters but now it was impossible to stop the increase.

He added that notification of the new fares’ rate list has not been issued yet but transporters will go on strike if their demand was not met.

Meanwhile, commuters condemned overcharging by the transporters and demanded the government to play active role in curbing profiteering of transport mafia.

A commuter Subhan Ahmed while talking to The Nation said that the government has made Rs3 per litre increase in the petrol price but transporters are charging Rs10 extra on the Kashmir Highway.

He said that transporters on this route adjust nine commuters in their vehicles which have the capacity of carrying only six persons. More, he said, they have fixed CNG cylinders but charge the rate of petroleum prices.

Secretary Transport Imtiaz Janjua talking to The Nation said that complaints have been received regarding surge in public transport fares illegally. He said no official order has been issued regarding increase in fares and complaints have been noticed in this regard.

He also said that the public transport service on the Kashmir Highway is illegal and action would be taken against transporters involved in overcharging and adjusting commuters more than its capacity.