Hike in passenger fare adds to people’s miseries in difficult times

Hike in passenger fare adds to people’s miseries in difficult times

Srinagar: The transport department’s order to hike by 30% the passenger fare for stage transport vehicles has not gone down well with people, who are demanding the order be revoked considering the financial hardships they are facing due to the Covid-19 situation.
People from various areas of Kashmir valley said that the hike of 30% is unjustifiable when most of the population is struggling to meet basic expenses in this kind of situation.
Fayaz Ahmad, a resident of Baramulla district, said that the government should think about the poor people and not charge more money from them in these difficult times.
A resident of Anantnag district, who did not want to reveal his name, said that the Sumo cab drivers were charging 50% extra in his district due to limited number of buses operated by the government.
Shabir Ahmad Matta, Chairman of All Kashmir Transport Welfare Association (AKTWA), told Kashmir Reader that the government has not given them permission to run private bus and minibus services in the valley.
“We are ready to follow the SOPs and guidelines if the government allows us to operate transport services,” Matta said.
He added, “The SRTC buses are operating from Batamaloo but we are not being allowed to operate from Parimpora bus stand. We have nearly 5,200 buses and minibuses across the Kashmir Valley which are not operating on the roads.”
He said the government should think about the suffering of the private transporters who have earned no income for the past 3 months.
Matta said he has approached the Governor’s Advisor, Baseer Ahmad Khan, regarding this issue. “We are still waiting for the response of the government,” he said.
The J&K government hiked passenger fare in public transport by 30 percent on Monday. An order issued by Commissioner/Secretary to the Government, Transport Department, Hirdesh Kumar read, “Sanction is hereby accorded to the charging of 130% of the existing authorized fare (existing authorized fare+30% of the existing authorized fare) from the passengers by stage carriage passenger vehicles, till further orders or till the restrictions imposed on the seating capacity, in view of COVID-19 pandemic, are eased, whichever is earlier and following which, only the authorized fare shall be charged from the passengers.”

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