SRINAGAR: Criticising the J&K Tourism Minister for expressing the state government’s helplessness on controlling ‘rising airfares’, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) has asked the government to subsidise the airfares of the needy people and the students.
“As a matter of fact J&K government is duty bound to provide speedy, economic and safe travel to the citizens of the Valley, particularly when air transport becomes the only way of transportation due to closer of highway,” spokesperson of KEA, Siraj Ahmad said in statement issued to the media. “If the government, as the minister says is helpless, then it should subsidies the travel of the needy and the students.”
Ahmad said the airfares have increased to an unaffordable level. “When a person will have to sell his precious property in case of emergency to buy a air ticket, it cannot be termed a matter of demand and supply, as the minister has described it,” he said, adding, for Kashmir in particular, it is imperative that travel remains affordable by air.
“What will happen to a patient who needs to rush out for treatment in emergency along with his caretakers? Who will speak for stranded passengers who were to travel by surface but the road is closed. Who will speak for the students who have to join their institution or appear in the exams? The issue in such a situation takes human dimensions and need to be addressed by the state government,” Ahmad said.
KEA said the tourism minister should not encourage the airlines to “indulge in unfair practices”.