Transporters fleece passengers, authorities in slumber

FROM SONWAR TO LAL CHOWK, BUS TRAVEL COSTS RS 8 FOR 4 KMS

MUKEET AKMALI

Srinagar, Dec 17: With the Transport department failing to come up with a revised rate list for distance-wise passenger fares, the transporters in the Srinagar city have started to overcharge passengers.
 Passengers said they are charged arbitrarily for traveling in mini buses, taxis, Tata sumos and auto rickshaws on the pretext that state cabinet has hiked the fare.
 “Ironically, more than two weeks have passed since the government approved revised rates for passenger vehicles but the Transport department is resorting to inordinate delay to notify the new fare for different routes. Some unscrupulous transporters take undue advantage of this and charge at their will,” said Inaam ul Haq, of Old City.
 The aggrieved passengers castigated the state government for subjecting them to inconvenience. “At a time when the people are suffering due to inflation and soaring prices of essential commodities. Government has aggravated our financial problems. I fail to understand how much more time it will take for the Transport department to issue revised distance wise rate list,” they said.
 “It seems the Government has given free hand to transporters to fleece the passengers,” said Muhammad Maqbool of Soura locality here. “In absence of the revised fare list, I have to pay Rs 10 from Soura to Lal Chowk. Earlier I used to pay on Rs 8 for the same route,” he said.
 Same problem was echoed by residents of Sonwar locality here. “We are charged Rs 10 for traveling four kilometers to Lal Chowk in a bus,” they said.
 Auto and Sumo drivers also resort to overcharging in absence of rate lists.
 “Auto drivers overcharge according to the situation. During evening and strikes they charge double the normal rates. It is difficult to bargain with them especially when people are in a hurry to reach to respective destinations,” said Ahsan, a student.
 The passengers urged the Transport department to make auto drivers charge according to meter readings.
 An official of the Transport department said revised fare rate list is in final stage of drafting. “We are working on it and in a day or two we would notify distance wise rate lists for transporters,” he said.
 The State Cabinet had approved re-fixing of maximum chargeable fares in case of stage and contract carriers.
 The Cabinet approved 14.40 percent hike in the existing fares of buses (stage carriage), 13.49 percent hike in mini-buses (stage carriage), 12.13 percent hike in taxi, maxi cabs (contract carriers) and 8.81 percent hike in petrol-driven auto rickshaws (contract carriage) respectively.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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