Srinagar: Cancer patient Kulsum Jan (name changed) had to go for a medical check-up at AIIMS Delhi (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) on the 27th of this month, but she could not go because the air ticket cost thirty thousand.
“I was diagnosed with first-stage cancer three years ago. I had an appointment at AIIMS on the 27th of this month and I was to go along with my husband, mother and daughter. But due to the high air fares, I will not be able to go,” said Kulsum, a resident of Rainawari in Srinagar.
“My treatment costs between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh, plus the expenses of hospital stay. I cannot bear such a huge amount of travelling expense. I don’t know what will happen to me now,” Kulsum said.
Her husband said that a break in the treatment might cause the cancer to grow. “Now we have to arrange the amount for the air fare. God forbid if something were to happen to my wife,” her husband said.
The huge airfare hike along with the cancellation of flights has caused problems to many others. Saqib Ahmad, who studies in Bangalore, said that he and his friends were stuck in Delhi because all flights to Srinagar were cancelled.
“I fail to understand if they have international airports then why cancel flights rather than delaying them for some hours. Because of these cancellations, we have to spend extra days here with nothing to do,” Saqib said.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Association president, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani told Kashmir Reader that the chamber has written to the chief minister as well as to the chief executive of the state airlines on the issue of exorbitant air fares.
“These air fares not only affect our tourism but also bring difficulties to the students and patients who have to go outside,” Wani said.