CHITRAL: Transporters are charging about three times the fares fixed by the government department depriving the passengers of the fruits of the Lowari tunnel completion.
After opening of the Lowari tunnel in Aug 2017 and completion of 20 kilometres approach roads on both sides of it, the duration of travel to Chitral has reduced to half but the fares remained unchanged.
The residents said the transport department fixed fares but neither the district government nor the concerned department ever bothered to check its implementation.
Former MPA Syed Sardar Hussain Shah said the fares of both passenger and goods vehicles were always dictated by the transport mafia based in Chitral, Dir and Peshawar. The tunnel has reduced the travel duration on Lowari Pass from two-and-a-half-hour to only eight minutes.
The fare for 50kg goods from Peshawar to Chitral is Rs350 against that of only Rs100 from Peshawar to Upper Dir, he said. The fare between Upper Dir and Peshawar is Rs320 against a distance of 271 kilometers while it is Rs700 between Upper Dir and Chitral for a distance of only 108 kilometres.
Mr Shah said the people of Chitral waited for seven decades for construction of Lowari tunnel but now they were being deprived of the fruits of the project.