Passengers in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district complain that public transport operators plying on the interior roads arbitrarily overcharge them, throwing the government-fixed fare list to the winds.
The passengers say authorities have for months now failed to ensure adherence to revised fare rates as the passenger vehicle operators make hay.
“Within the radius of 14 kilometers, Sumo drivers charge 40 to 50 rupees fare per person. I regularly travel from Litter to Pulwama, but I am often overcharged and the situation frequently ends up in an argument,” said Sameer Khan, a passenger.
“The Sumo drivers don’t abide by the rate list.”
Many passengers Greater Kashmir spoke to said that they have raised the issue with ARTO Pulwama, who took action, but the drivers continue to overcharge the passengers.
Residents from Pulwama, Kakapora, Rajpora, Tahab, Tral, Awantipora, Khrew and Pampore said that the passenger vehicle drivers do not follow the fare rates.
The residents complain that the common people have to keep paying extra at the will of the drivers.
Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Kakapora said due to lack of checking by the concerned department transporters are taking undue advantage.
“We are left with no option but to pay according to the will of drivers,” Ahmad said.
Despite repeated attempts Assistant Regional Transport Officer, Pulwama, Mukhtar Sofi remained unavailable for the comments.