Closure of CNG stations brings hike in transport fares
PESHAWAR, Nov 26: The motorists faced severe problems as most of the CNG stations remained closed in the provincial metropolis on Monday.
The closure of CNG stations also led to a unilateral increase in fares by the transporters. The signboards of ‘low pressure’ and ‘repair work in progress’ were displayed at the closed CNG stations in the city.
Long queues of vehicles were seen at the filling stations owned by Pakistan State Oil and few others in the suburban areas
which continued to provide CNG to the motorists.
Talking to this correspondent some operators at filling stations said that sale had been stopped owing to cut in CNG price on the orders of Supreme Court.
However, the managers of CNG stations avoided commenting on the issue, saying the station owners had the authority to stop sale of the commodity.
A manager said that government was not ready to reduce taxes, power tariff and other charges but court was forcing the owners to reduce price of CNG.
“We purchase CNG at about Rs69 per kilogram. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has directed us to sell it at Rs54 per kilogram but it hasn’t told us as to who will afford the losses we face on daily basis,” he said.
The CNG stations, he said, had gone on an unannounced countrywide strike against decrease in price. The manager added that they couldn’t afford selling CNG at the designated price.
If government wanted to provide relief to the consumers, it should reduce the taxes and Ogra should notify it immediately, the manager said.
He said that low pressure was another problem being faced by majority of the filling stations.
He said that Sui Northern Gas Pipelines was providing gas to domestic consumers but it was least bothered to meet the requirements of the filling stations.
A CNG Owners Association leader, Pervez Khattak, told journalists that the association had not announced any strike but the owners had shut the stations on their own because they could not afford selling gas on the existing rate.
He dispelled the impression that owners of filling station were defying the court order. The government should take serious steps for providing relief to the public, Mr Khattak added.
Owing to non-availability of CNG, the transporters also raised fares on different routes and overcharged the passengers.
An official of the transport department said that RTA teams would check the fares as fare lists were already notified. However, he said that in case of non-availability of CNG it would be difficult to take action against the transporters.
Urban Transport Union president Khan Zaman Afridi, when contacted, said that transporters were compelled to revise the fares as they could not afford to run the vehicles on petrol and charge CNG fare.
“Till today (Monday) the transporters union has not intervened to increase the fares but now when CNG is not available it will officially announce increase from Tuesday,” he said.
He added that the fares would be increased by 20 per cent on different routes.
“The intra-city fares will also be increased from Rs10 to Rs12 (from one bus stop to another),” he said.
He demanded of the government to resolve the issues and provide relief to public. He said that the rates of diesel should also be reduced.