JAMMU: The state government on Wednesday asked the GoI to check the arbitrary hike in airfares for the state saying this hike has hit students, patients and tourism the state
In a government handout here, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali has sought intervention of the concerned GoI for check this undue hike in airfares.
In a recent letter to Ashok Gajapathi Raju, GoI Minister for Civil Aviation, Zulifikar has expressed grave concern over this steep hike in air fares on Srinagar-Jammu, Srinagar-Delhi, Srinagar-Mumbai, Jammu-Delhi and vice versa sectors.
He said that airfares for these destinations are irrationally exorbitant particularly during the winter season when the road connectivity to the Valley gets restricted due to inclement weather and the only option left with the passengers is to travel by air.
He said the students who have to move out of Kashmir Valley in pursuit of education and the desperate patients who are being referred by doctors outside the State for treatment are especially hit by the steep rise in airfares.
The Minister further brought into the notice of Union Minister that the issue of monopolistic trade practices adopted by various airlines and travel agencies operating in the State is aggravating the situation which subjects the travellers to immense hardships.
He said the President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed his concern over the authoritarian attitude of the airlines operating on the Srinagar route for affecting steep rise of airfares especially during winter season and have approached state government for help.
He said the issue was also discussed in a meeting of the J&K State Consumer Protection Council wherein all the members of the Council unanimously expressed their serious concern over the issue by comparing it to clear instance of jeopardizing state consumer rights. He added that these members approached the government to take up the matter again with the concerned GoI Ministry.
He requested GoI officals to pass on directions to concerned airlines to keep the air fare reasonable on these sectors.