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-COMPELLING DEMAND OF THE DAY: TRANSPORT OPERATORS AND PASSENGERS IN DAMONGO; WHO IS SHORTCHANGING WHO?
-SO DO WE REALLY HAVE INSTITUTIONAL REGULATION OF TRANSPORT OPERATIONS IN DAMONGO
As I boarded a bus and freight my luggage bound from Damongo (GPRTU station) to Tamale, I observed and listened keenly as the plaint and lamentation of passengers on board the near bonshaka of a bus raged.
In my usual nature,I was calmly seated and wouldn’t author a word. But I keenly recorded every of the drama that took place in my mind.
It’s difficult to overstate. But the vulnerable passengers on board the bus were in real agony. Their misery ranged from the bad nature of vehicles allowed to ply the Damongo-Tamale stretch of road, and the risk factor involved, the nonsensical and bizzare overloading of passengers-at worse, five or more people squished on a supposed four man seater; thanks to the wonders of GPRTU, Damongo Branch.”Kai”.
In all these,majority of the agonized passengers were more concerned about the exorbitant transport fares charged by the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Damongo branch and the lack of value for money vis-a-vis the service rendered.My attention was caught right here.
Justified or not justified? Big question I guess!If you didn’t know,GPRTU in Damongo will take nothing less than Gh12.00 from Damongo-Tamale. Worse of it if you have luggage. That one their, you don’t need me or any prophet to tell you to start digging your own financial grave.
But you see,the wonder is not that their counterparts at AY transport still maintained the old fare-Ghc10.00 for same travel distance but that these people have decided to review transport fares upward in Damongo beyond the threshold of 15% as agreed upon by transport unions across the country somewhere in April.
Simply calculate 15% from the old fare of Ghc10 and even me that is not a rocket mathematician like prof. Allotey can tell that the addition should be something like exactly Ghc1.50 and not the Ghc2 as we are currently being slapped in the face with.If the question is about difficulty in getting 50p change,then the fare could have been maintained at Ghc11 to the advantage of the consumer. Afterall, the road is now good and there is low maintainance cost. Some of us felt the Ghc10 was even not satisfactory, not to talk of Ghc12.
With the current hikes in transport fares in Damongo, I dare say from my little knowledge in index numbers that the percentage increase is 20% and not the 15% as agreed upon by transport unions across the nation. (Formular: New price-old price/old price×100; 12-10/10×100=20%). It’s thus simple!
In doing some little comparative analysis,the travel distance from Damongo-Tamale from Google map is 123kms/76.428633 Miles/66.414711 Nautical Miles, and the fare is Ghc12. From Bolgatanga to Tamale, the travel distance is 168.1kms, and the fare is Ghc13.Salaga to Tamale-118kms and the fare is Ghc9…Check Distances from Damongo to Buipe among others and the corresponding fares in comparison with that of Damongo to Tamale and the results appears phenomenally amazing.
In the midst of this seemingly expanded arsenals of banana Republic displayed in Damongo by this singular action, I beg to query: passengers and transport operators in Damongo;who really is shortchanging who? Do we have institutions regulating transport operations in Damongo? Because, I understand it’s about strong institutions and not strong men.
Whilst you ponder to answer these questions,prepare to catch the slippery maggot of a village writer on other amazing flip aspects of our community struggle.
The writer is a teacher by profession, a freelance journalist,youth advocate, blogger/writer and a student at the University of Ghana Business School pursuing Bachelor of Science in Administration with a major in Public Administration.
Read more of his works on (ananpansah-ab.blogspot.com).
By ANANPANSAH, B ABRAHAM(AB)
(The Village Writer)