‘Despite assurances, authorities concerned allow flouting its order’
Srinagar: Flouting the government order on fare hike, public transporters across Kashmir continue to fleece passengers with authorities concerned taking no action despite assurances to people.
The cabinet headed by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in July took the decision of hiking passenger fare.
As per the decision, the fare for big busses was hiked by 13.7 5, medium and mini-busses 13.7 %, cabs and taxis 8.25 %, autos 2.85 %, and others 13.7 %.
As per new hike, upto 3 kilometers the fare was hiked from Rs 4.99 to 6; upto 5 it was increased from Rs 8.33 to Rs 9; upto 10 km fare was hiked from Rs 10 to Rs 11; upto 15 kms from Rs 11.67 to Rs 13; upto 20 Kms from Rs 14.99 to Rs 17 and beyond 20 kms the fare will be hiked as per range and destination.
However, the passenger vehicles including buses, minibuses, cabs, taxis, and autos are charging high fare in contravention to the order.
Passengers across Kashmir complain that the transporters have been charging as per their own whims after the hike was ordered by the government.
Passengers said that they receive abuses from the transporters when they are questioned about arbitrary fare charging and informed about the government order.
“Sumos cabs have increased the fare by Rs 10, buses, minibuses and autos by Rs 5. This is violation of the order. The government should immediately address the issue,” Imtiyaz Ahmad, a passenger who travels in public transport daily from Srinagar to Baramulla.
Even the deputy commissioners had received complaints, but they did not act.
Several passengers and civil society groups have complained to the Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir, Farooq Ahmad who had assured them of action against transporters. Even media has been reporting the issue where in RTO and Transport Minister Sunil Sharma had promised action and starting checking squads.
In July, Sharma told KNS that the transporters cannot be allowed to violate the government order and had said that he will look into the matter.
But three months have passed neither the RTO nor the minister acted, with passengers alleging “connivance” of the concerned with transporters.
The people are saying that whenever the government takes decisions about public issues, it appeases the businessmen and transporters and does not take civil society on board.
“In fare hike too, the government resorted to appeasement of transporters and ignored the rights of public. Civil society is never consulted on such matters by the government,” Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Pampore told KNS.
RTO Kashmir Farooq Ahmad and Transport Minister Sunil Sharma did not reply to the repeated phone calls from KNS. (KNS)