Islamabad - Taking advantage of current petrol shortage , public transport particularly the taxi drivers are overcharging from commuters of Rawalpindi and Islamabad adding to their miseries.

Public transport which is already short on all routes and people have to wait for hours at bus stops, have no other option to pay fares of their demand to reach their destinations.

Rawalpindi Transport Authority has announced a new fare list after massive reduction in petrol prices but transporters are not ready to follow the new list, even charging almost double saying, “We have to wait for hours in queues to get petrol so extra fare is our right”.

Asad Khan, who travels daily from Committee Chowk to Blue Area, where he works at a private firm said, “I have to reach office at 9.00 am and usually leave home at 8.00 am but now it is hard to get transport so come to stop at 7.00 am or even before to reach office in time.

He said currently it is a gigantic task to get seat in a van as they are already filled and conductors are not willing to board long route passengers.

“I have to take van up to Faizabad and then get another van for Polyclinic Stop from where I walk to my office at Blue Area”, he said, adding, “for last one week I am paying double fare up to Faizabad and then to the next stop and same is the practice in evening”.

All my office colleagues narrate same tales after reaching office and our budget is badly affecting as the salaries are the same but the transport expenses are almost double.

Nayab Ramzan who hired a taxi from Islamabad Airport to Fauji Foundation said, the taxi driver charged Rs. 500, which is a double then normal day. She said when she argue on fare, the taxi driver said, our working hours are now reduced because three to four hours waste daily at petrol pump long queues.

Tanveer Gul, van drivers at Aabpara stop said, “Petrol pumps are selling petrol on higher rates so how can we bear our expenses.” He said not only fuel; they have to bear vehicles maintenance expenses so it is not possible to implement new fares.

Meanwhile, residents of the capital have demanded authorities concerned to remove open garbage dumps in Faizabad area of the capital as it produces foul smell and poses a health hazard to the public.

The residents told APP that the garbage dumps could become a breeding ground for bacteria and give rise to a number of diseases, including diarrhoea, malaria, cholera, and dengue.

The residents of Faizabad expressed concerns on the dumping of garbage.

Umair Ali, an area resident, told APP, “We have time and again asked the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) to either put up a garbage trolley at the site or use some deserted place for garbage dumping, but our plea has been ignored.” Umair said that apathy of TMA has led to garbage collectors dumping rubbish near the bus stand.

The local shopkeepers, transporters and hotel owners were to blame as well, he said. “Hotel owners, transporters and shopkeepers dump rubbish near the bus stand without caring about the health of the travelling public, he said.

A motorist, Gul Muhammad, complained that whenever it rained, a terrible smell emanates from the garbage. He said that there were no waste bins in the stand despite the fact that it was one of the busiest terminals of the twin cities. A commuter, Sabir Ali, said that garbage dumped near the bus stand makes waiting at the stand an unpleasant experience. He asked the TMA authorities to immediately make garbage disposal arrangements.

When contacted, the TMA official said that the authority was making arrangements to dispose of the rubbish in a deserted area. He also urged the residents and shopkeepers of the area to refrain from throwing garbage in the open.