Shot letter to civil aviation minister to examine the matter
Srinagar, Jun 02: The Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti while expressing concern over the rising airline ticket prices to Jammu and Kashmir in the peak tourist season, has shot a letter to Civil Aviation Ministry to consider operating additional flights on Delhi-Srinagar, Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Leh circuits to counter costly air fares, KNS has learnt.
“It has been brought to the government notice through search of websites of airlines and media reports as well as feedback from air travelers that air fares have registered a sudden spurt,” the CM has said in a letter.
“In view of the above, all the airlines must be directed to ensure that fares offered remain within the fare band uploaded on the website of respective airlines,” according to sources, the CM Mehbooba Mufti has said in a letter.
Commissioner civil aviation Department, S. Katoch when contacted in this regard confirmed that the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had written a letter to the civil aviation ministry.
Sources told KNS that the CM has requested the minister to direct the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to sought immediately details from airlines on their pricing policies, especially about fares being charged by them on the Jammu and Kashmir sector in this peak tourism season or whenever the Srinagar- Jammu highway remains cut off due to inclement weather.
It is to mention here that, in a major relief for passengers travelling from airports in Jammu and Kashmir; civil aviation ministry has scrapped the mandatory baggage identification by travelers at Srinagar, Jammu and Leh airports.
CM has also thanked Union Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu for scrapping the mandatory baggage identification at the airports in the state, saying it will go a long way in lessening people’s inconvenience.
“Thankful to sureshpprabhu ji. This decision will go a long way in lessening the inconvenience & enhancing the travel experience,” Mehbooba has said.
However she has also requested the minister to look into the rising airline ticket pricing to J&K. “Would also request him (Prabhu) to look into airline ticket pricing to J&K to ease the burden for budget travellers,” Mehbooba has said.
KNS has already reported that immense hike in air fare has made it unaffordable for passengers particularly people from other cities who want to visit the valley.
Many locals and tourists have said that from the past one month passengers traveling to Kashmir are getting tickets at highly expensive rates.
Many tour operators in the valley have also said that due to huge increase in air fare tourists from other states are being forced to cancel their visit to the valley.
‘Tourism industry is the backbone of Kashmir’s economy and this industry needs to be strengthened and developed by all the players whether it is Government or the private associations and unions related to Kashmir tourism. The private players have to ensure that hotel rates are not arbitrarily hiked and the Government has to address the problems of the hoteliers, travel agents etc. As the airfares are hiked by the airline companies, the Government is least bothered to address this issue,” one of the top businessman here in Srinagar has told KNS.
He has added that the hike is because of the tourist rush. “If a person wants to get a ticket at cheaper rates they will have to book tickets a month or two in advance. Even the flight rate from Srinagar to Jammu starts from Rs 7,000 or Rs 8,000 and goes up to over Rs 10,000. This scenario will in fact continue till Amaranth yatra,” the businessman maintained. (KNS)