CNG prices and collapse of public transport system


People in the Country rightly greeted Supreme Court on slashing of the CNG prices. This is only institution with which people have high expectations. After this decision it is clear now that the SC is only institution that delivers to masses. This is an eye opening for those who criticize the SC for fixing of price. This has been proven that there is no relief for people until unless the SC intervenes. All were grateful to judiciary and honorable judges for making them happy with this great gift on Eid. However, after the order of Supreme Court to cut the prices of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) by almost Rs.31 many CNG stations all over Pakistan had closed their business. These CNG station owners were of the view that now there is no profit in selling CNG at these lowered prices. Government was also failed to take action against these CNG stations. Many CNG stations in Karachi and other cities had remained closed and people had to fill highly priced petrol in their vehicles. Public transport in Karachi has also not lowered the fare and Sindh Transport Minister was failed to take any action in this regard. This stubbornness of CNG stations and public transport owners show that no one wants to obey Supreme Court when it is cutting their profit. It may be mentioned here that following the Supreme Court order on CNG prices, fares of public transport running on gas were reduced in Punjab and other places in the country. But in Karachi the buses and other transporters were charging the same fares. Repeated public demand elicited a delayed and lukewarm response from the authorities. But most transporters were still charging the old fares resulting in shouting and scuffles in buses between passengers and conductors. The taxi and rickshaw drivers have become completely immune to any law or rules regarding fares. On the other hand, Petrol prices have hit the roof, CNG is unavailable most of the week and not everyone owns a car that runs on diesel. This has made the lives of the people a lot more difficult than they already were. If only the government invests in a mass transit system can our commuting problems be solved. Not only will such a system make the roads less busy, it will also help hundreds of thousands of people who cannot afford to buy cars yet have to because they do not have any other option. A new and improved public transport system in effect will lead to less usage of fuel as well. The provincial government should take notice of this serious situation before the people burst up in protest.

-Published on page#-8 in November-2012 issue of MOBILE WORLD Magazine