Chitral -- It is not only the PIA fares which are costliest per
nautical mile to Chitral compared to other destinations, the goods
freight on lorries are even more costly. A truck hired from
Islamabad was quoted at Rs 58000/- per trip one side which makes the
250 kilometer route far costlier than any other route in Pakistan.
Also the truck carries half the load of a standard truckload because
of lowari pass (which is no more a hurdle now but the penalty
CN tried to find out the reason for this heavy charging and
found that besides having no government control over the
transporters who want to get rich overnight, one main reason was the
poor condition of the trucks. Bedford trucks of the 1960s are still
being used which are inefficient fuel guzzlers and have been
abandoned world over. Moreover these trucks have bodies of
unnecessarily heavy steel and wood which are heavier than the load
it carries, therefore the fuel consumption is double and the price
for the inefficiency of the truck is paid by the public who have no
choice but to pay inflated prices for goods transported to Chitral.
An immediate ban on old trucks, introduction of light bodied fuel
efficient vehicles and evaluation of the freight charges by the
government are measures needed immediately to reduce the avoidable
high cost of living in Chitral.
-- CN report, 30 April 2012