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Fuel price hike affects lives, sparks protests

Rickshaw drivers stage rally in Lahore

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 17, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Oct 17, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Auto rickshaw drivers stage a demonstration to protest against the rising fuel prices in Lahore on October 17, 2021. PHOTO AFP

Members of the Awami Rickshaw Drivers Union staged a protest against high fuel prices on Sunday in Lahore and said that if the government did not push petrol and natural gas prices down, they would stage an indefinite sit-in.

Protestors were holding placards inscribed with slogans against the government actions. They also shouted full-throated slogans expressing their resentment.

The chairman of the rickshaw union, Majeed Ghori, said that if the fuel prices were not decreased within the next 24 hours, they would stage sit-ins at busy intersections in the city, blocking them for traffic.

He warned that if their demands were not met, they would stage a sit-in outside the Chief Minister House.

Meanwhile, the unprecedented fuel price hike is affecting transporters as much as commuters.

Fare increased

Public transport fares rose in the wake of the oil price hike and transporters said they would be unable to provide service without increasing ticket prices.

Most of the people contacted by SAMAA Digital said that they had to sustain a fuel price increase every 15 days. The government would now have to do nothing to eliminate poverty as the poor would die off themselves.

All inter-city travellers were confounded by the rising fares in the wake of hikes in prices of petrol and diesel.

Commuters at bus stands in Rawalpindi and Islamabad say that they were unable to go to their homes as frequently as they wanted because of the fuel price hikes.

Most of the inter-city travellers said that they were now hard-pressed to meet their rent obligations while they were also unable to pay the high return fares.

People said that unprecedented price hikes had broken all previous records, forcing people to commit suicides while transporters contended that if they had no other option but to raise fares.

Transporters said that the government should realize that if they did not do so they would be unable to pay for the running costs or earn any profit to feed their families.

Some travellers defended the government, saying that it was one of its prerogatives but it should also issue a notification barring transporters from arbitrarily raising the fares.

In a related development, commuters from Multan accused the transporters were making the public pay unreasonably high transportation fares.

According to them, fares had now been increased by as much as Rs300 to Rs500 on all routes.

People urged the government to decrease fuel prices so that they could all heave a sigh of relief.

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