Rise in transport fares illegal?


The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday summoned the secretaries of Transport Department and Regional Transport Authority and the transporters’ representatives among other respondents, directing them to submit their comments over the increase in inter-city, inter-province and local transportation fares.
A division bench including SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Salman Hamid heard the constitutional petition, filed by Rana Fiazul Hasan, and issued directives to the respondents to submit their explanation before the court in the next hearing, which will be fixed later.
The petitioner had sought setting aside the notification regarding increase in transport fares, submitted that the transporters have increased the fares illegally.
He stated that the poor prefer to use public transport facilities, as they cannot afford private conveyance, but a recent decision to raise transport fares, after an increase in POL prices, has severely affected people across the province.
Accusing the transporters and their representative bodies of monopoly, the appellant maintained that they have increased the fares without having approval from the transport’s regulatory body. “Some government officials are providing patronage to such transport mafia,” he alleged.
“The transporters have not only violated the ‘Traffic Law 1965’, but also challenged the government’s writ by increasing the transportation fares while bypassing government’s directive,” the petitioner added.
The transporters have violated Article (8) of the constitution and basic human rights of the citizens by depriving them of their basic right for cheap transport facilities.
Despite the provincial government constituting Regional Transport Authority (Sindh) for fixing travelling fares and resolving transporters’ problems, the regularity authority remains ineffective as it is not able to implement its decisions effectively
The appellant also declared the Motorway Police ineffective as they have never taken stern action against the transporters violating the laws.
Sindh Chief Secretary, Transport secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Motorway Police Sindh in-charge, Karachi Transport Ittehad president, Sindh Air-conditioned Coaches Association head and DIG Traffic were cited as respondents in the petition.
The petitioner pleaded that the Sindh Transport Minister and the Transport secretary be issued orders to restrain inter-city and local transporters from increasing fares. He also prayed that the monopoly exhibited by the transporters be ended and they should be bound to follow the laws.