13 جنوری، 2015

PHC issue notices to PIA chairman, HR department - for a decrease in the number of flights to Chitral

 


PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Monday once again issued notices to the chairman and the human resource department of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), seeking an explanation for a decrease in the number of flights to Chitral and an increase in airfare. 

The court directed the officials to explain their position on the matter before the next date of hearing.

A two-member bench of Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Musarrat Hilali issued the notices while hearing a petition filed by Muhammad Aminul Hassan, through his counsel Mumtaz Ahmed.



The petitioner has sought an increase in the number of flights to Chitral and reduced airfare.

Although the counsel of the petitioner appeared before the court, no one was present on behalf of PIA.

Ahmed told the court ticket prices were kept low because Chitral remained inaccessible by road for six months of the year due to heavy snowfall.

“Chitral falls under Malakand Division, a tax-free zone, so the cost of flights was nominal,” he said.

“The only way to get to Chitral by road is through the Lowari Tunnel, which remains closed during winter.”

According to Ahmed, the cost of flying from Peshawar to Karachi was Rs7,477.

“This is cheaper than a ticket to Chitral despite the fact that the port city is further away than the valley,” Ahmed told the bench.

“PIA is charging more which is a form of discrimination against residents.”

The bench was further informed that businesses in Chitral have also affected by snowfall and residents have demanded they be treated as per Article 4 of the Constitution.

The provision safeguards the right of individuals to be dealt with in accordance to the law.

The counsel requested the court to reduce the fare of the flight to the price which was being charged in 2007. Moreover, PIA was also asked to increase the number of flights to Chitral from various cities.

The court has issued the notices for a second time.

On November 20 2014, PHC had issued its first notice to the chairman of PIA to explain the reduction in flights to Chitral and the substantial increase in airfares.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2015.

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