All train seats booked, road transporters double bus fares

Karachi: All upcountry trains are fully booked and no seat is available in any passenger train, while road-based transporters are charging double fare from the passengers leaving for upcountry destinations to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones.

Officials at the booking office of Cantt Railway station said all seats and berths on upcountry trains have already been booked. They said due to reduction in rail fares passengers now prefer train journey to road journey. They said besides the service standard and punctuality of passenger trains have improved a lot, restoring confidence of people on Pakistan railways. The passengers of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa particularly like train service and the passengers with their families travelling with them also prefer rails to buses or coaches.

However, the road transporters have increased bus fares up to 100percent, creating problems for people. Though the Sindh transport secretary had announced taking strict action against overcharging of bus fares, but practically nothing is done against the bus operators. The government every year issued such rosy but hollow statements to befool people. At all intercity bus terminals passengers are being fleeced with impunity.

Many coaches and buses particularly leaving for rural areas are allowing passengers to sit on rooftops, which is a serious violation of road laws. However, due to lack of implementation of laws they avoid any legal action against them.

The passengers have requested the railway minister to restore the suspended train services, besides add more coaches to passenger trains to facilitate people.