KARACHI - A complete wheel-jam strike was observed in the metropolis on Tuesday on the appeal of the Karachi Transport Ittehad against the recent hike in oil and CNG prices.

The strike crippled normal and routine life in Karachi, compounding problems of the citizens, especially office-goers, factory workers and students; they all were seen waiting at bus stops. Many workers could not reach their factories due to the strike, while attendance at offices thinned out. Commuters, mostly women, at various bus stops, said the strike called by the transporters created problems for them. Also, the Karachi Board of Secondary Education postponed Tuesday’s paper, keeping in view non-availability of transport in the city.

The strike call was given last week by the Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI), a representative body of the city’s transporters.

To express their solidarity with the KTI on the issue, a number of other transport associations supported the strike. Operators of all passenger buses bound for interior Sindh and trucks and trailers bound for upcountry destinations were also protesting. The Rickshaws, Taxis, Yellow Cabs’ Welfare Association and Inter-Provincial Bus Association also extended full support to the strike call.

However, rickshaws and taxis continued to ply on roads charging exorbitant fares from irate commuters.  KTI President Irshad Bukhari appreciated the transport associations for making the strike a success. He warned the government that if problems of the transporters were not resolved, they would soon call a meeting to decide a future strategy. In a joint statement on Tuesday, the KTI president and other leaders said that by observing a successful strike, the transporters had given a clear message to the government and minister for petroleum for the resolution of their problems, including hike in oil and gas prices. The transporters said  they called the strike a week ago but neither the chief minister nor the federal minister bothered to call them for a meeting to avoid the strike.