SRINAGAR: Kashmiri students returning home from different states of India after shutdown of colleges and universities amid coronavirus worries said that they are being fleeced by cab drivers on Srinagar-Jammu highway “who charge hefty fares”.
In wakeof coronavirus pandemic, educational institutions have been closed in almost all the states of India leaving the students into lurch and forcing them to return to their homes.
A group of girl students told Kashmir Reader that they are being fleeced and overcharged by drivers from Jammu to Srinagar route.
“We are helpless before the prevailing situationforcing us to pay hefty fares for travelling from Jammu to Srinagar route.We have to pay 1800- 2000 rupees per passenger,” said Nisha Bashir, a student.
She added, “The authorities are not paying heed to the sufferings of passengers.”
The commuters have been complaining of high fares on Srinagar-Jammu route during peak season.
A group of students studying at different colleges of Chandigarh and Punjab told Kashmir Reader that they returned back to their homes due to the scare of coronavirus, “but upon reaching Jammu, they were shocked overhigh fares and were left with one option but to travel by buses which take very long time due to the dilapidated condition of road and frequent occurrence of landslides”.
“The fares are too high.We had to pay an amount of 1200 rupees to travel uptoBanihal in a Tempo car. We could not afford to travel in Sumo,”said a Kashmiri student of St. Soldier College in Jalandhar.
However, Rouf Ahmad, a Tavera driver said, “We are not overcharging passengers.The fares remain same with little difference due to the large number of passengers travelling to Kashmir valley. The fares range from 800-1000 and 1000-1200 rupees respectively in time of huge rush of passengers, while it remains 400-800 rupees in normal days.”
Another driver admitted that due to the blockade of Jammu- Srinagar highway, the fares have gone up. “The fares are not too high, but there is an increase in normal fares due to huge number of student passengers travelling back to Kashmir,” he added.
Amit Bhasin, Addl SP Traffic Jammu told Kashmir Reader that they are monotoring the fares, andhave already started a drive to check fares on different routes.
“The issue of high fares has been taken into consideration and we will look into it on speedy basis, and redress the issues related to high fares very soon,” he said, adding, “As the issue has been brought to our notice, it will take a little time to figure it out and ease the sufferings of students and people.”