Residents of various areas of Ramban district have accused Public transport operators of overcharging of fares from the passengers on different routes in the district.
More cases of overcharging have been reported from those routes where the concerned department has issued less number of route permits.
The commuters alleged that public transporters plying on link roads interior routes to different areas of Ramban district are overcharging fares and violating the fare rates fixed by the government through transport commissioner.
They said the arbitrary overcharging by the public transporters continues since many months despite the fact the government has withdrawn the order of enhancing fares during the Covid-19 pandemic.
They said TaTa Sumo drivers three wheelers and Magic Autos under the radius of 5KM charges of fares 12 rupees i regularly travel from Chanderkote to Ramban but I am often overcharged and the situation frequent with an argument said a passenger Mohammad Qasim of Chanderkote.
The drivers do not abide by the rate list, some passengers from Failti Ramban said drivers don’t follow government revised rates and overcharge the passengers.
They said matter was raised with authorities including ARTO Ramban the drivers are overcharging continues the transporters do not follow the fare rates.
Passengers alleged and complained that the common man is forced to pay extra fare as per the will of drivers and operators.
They said due to lack of check by the concerned department transporters are taking undue advantage of this commuters are left with no option but to pay according to the will of the drivers complain a passenger Mudasir Mir from Banihal.
Commuters said overcharging in fares is unjustified as transporters and drivers are rarely strict to government rates and arbitrarily charge more and most importantly the quality of the service does not warrant a hike.
Overloading is so rampant in the district a passenger rarely gets to sit on a seat comfortably.
People said that the motor vehicle department (MVD),Assistant Regional Transport Authority ( ARTO) including traffic Police National Highway have failed in their commitment to make transport public friendly in the district.
They have urged authorities to implement proper transport fare rates across the Ramban district so that commuters do not get fleeced any more. The officials at ARTO office denied to comment on the issue.