Ramban, March 14: Kashmir bound passengers stranded at Chanderkote on Srinagar-Jammu highway Tuesday staged a massive protest alleging that no government help reached to them from past couple of days.
The protesters alleged that government officials have informed them that in case of air-lifting, they have to pay from their own pockets. “We have been without food and facilities suffering here. There are sick, elderly people, children and women and the government wants to make money for the mess created by them,” the protesters told CNS.
They said that it has been for the first time that stranded passengers will have to bear the expenses. “There are scores of people who have little money in the pocket. In this situation instead of helping the needy, the government is trying to fill their own coffers,” they said.
“We were informed that we will be air-lifted but so far no help reached to us. Government should airlift the stranded passengers without charging them anything,” said a lady stranded at Chanderkote from past three days.
Pertinently, the government had said that it will arranging air sorties from Srinagar towards Udhampur for stranded passengers in the valley due to closure of the highway.
Director State Road Transport Corporation told CNS that no SRTC buses were pressed into service to take back the stranded passengers back to Jammu from Chanderkote. “Our own buses have been stranded at Chaderkote and stranded passengers are reluctant to go back to Jammu. There were some SRTC buses that dropped some of the stranded passengers at Udhampur,” G.A.Sofi said and refuted the allegations that they charge anything extra from the stranded passengers.
However, an official from District Ramban confirmed that passengers have to pay for both road and air transport. “A passenger will need to pay Rs.75 for a bus ride from Jammu to Uhampur and Rs. 1,500 for onward journey to Srinagar on the Air Force plane. (CNS)