Like every year, the transporters have increased fares ahead of Eid ul Fitr, which is causing inconvenience to the passengers leaving for their hometowns to celebrate Eid with their loved ones and relatives. All bus and wagon terminals including railway station on Sunday remained jam packed with the passengers who were leaving for their native towns to celebrate Eid ul Fitr with their families. The passengers were seen running from one bus stand to the other in search of tickets, while the transporters taking full advantage of the situation were demanding enhanced fares from them. Huge rush of passengers could be witnessed at all bus terminals and also at Rawalpindi Railway Station here on Sunday. On the other hand, as per ugly practices long route transporters were openly looting helpless passengers by charging enhanced fares apart from charges of luggage. The transporters at Pirwadhai, Faizabad, Rawat, Humrahi and Soan Bus/Wagon Terminals were demanding enhanced fares from the poor passengers. The official Eid holidays will begin on Monday (May 2) but most of the non-locals have already left for their hometowns on Saturday and Sunday, while the remaining would likely go till ‘Chand Raat’. Similarly, a large number of passengers could be witnessed at Rawalpindi Railway Station waiting for trains. Majority of the passengers have already booked their seats but others are facing difficulties in hunt of seats. Meanwhile, Regional Transport Authority (RTA) was also taking action in accordance with the law against the violators and special teams were also formed to monitor the public transport fares. RTA had warned the transporters against overcharging public transport fares from people going to hometowns to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with their families. According to Secretary RTA, it is common feature that with the coming of Eid people go to their hometowns to celebrate the festival with their loved ones. People from abroad as well as major cities make it a point to be home with their kith and kin for the festivities. However, the transporters have a habit of fleecing the home bound citizens by charging exorbitant rates. He said, stern action was being taken against transporters found overcharging and overloading the passengers. The staff concerned had been directed to check overcharging and overloading of passengers in buses and vans especially before Eid-ul-Fitr, he said. The checking was being carried out randomly at different places, he said adding, strict action was being taken on the spot and excess fares were being returned to the passengers. Commissioner Rawalpindi Division, Noor ul Amin Mengal had directed the RTA Rawalpindi to control fares of Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) and take strict action against the violators without any discrimination. According to RTA Secretary, they had cancelled Eid holidays of their checking staff. “We are trying to control the phenomenon of overcharging ahead of Eid,” he added. He advised the passengers to note numbers of buses and wagons which are overcharging. “Passengers should inform us and we will take strict action against transporters,” he claimed. According to a spokesman, RTA on the directives of the commissioner had finalized arrangements to conduct raids for checking fares of the public transport. A special control room had also been set up at RTA office to monitor teams checking fares of buses and wagons in the bus stands.