Shopian: In absence of buses, cab operators in Shopian are running a parallel transport department where cab fares are being fixed by the drivers and the time of running the services are also being decided by the drivers. The government-issued rate lists are being thrown to bins.
According to the daily commuters, the issue despite being brought to the notice of higher authorities remain unattended since a year, with cab drivers continuing to charge more rates than those fixed by the government.
They also said that the cab services are being run at no fixed timings.
Locals from Chitragam Kalan area told Kashmir Reader that in the past year, the official rate list of different routes and stops were issued umpteen times but the drivers don’t abide by it. “Only issuing rate list isn’t enough. There is no one to implement those lists on roads. The drivers misbehave with the passengers who raise voice against their exorbitant rates,” said Mubashir Ahmad Bhat, a daily commuter.
Commuters said that the charging of exorbitant rates by cab drivers is for almost all routes. “The drivers raise issue of bad condition of roads. Is that our job to fix?” asked Umar Bhat, a student.
Besides the over charging, daily commuters say that the cab services are sometimes not available for hours. People are forced to wait till a cab arrives or walk to reach home, office or other destinations.
“The misfortune is that there are numerous cab stands without government registration. If three cab drivers meet, they start their own stand and the next day go for private bookings, which has further escalated the problems,” said Altaf Ahmad, a resident of Turkwagam area.
Assistant regional transport officer (ARTO) Shopian, Moazum Ali didn’t respond to repeated calls.
Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Shrikant Balasahab Suse, told Kashmir Reader that he has given directions to the ARTO in this regard. “Yes, some delegations also raised these complaints with me and I have told the ARTO to look into the matter,” he said.