Says International Flights cheaper than Kashmir flight, Urges Authorities to Lodge case against airlines,
Srinagar, March 22: Jammu and Kashmir Students Association, a body of Kashmiri Students here on today, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri to intervene and get the airlines reduce the high airfares they are charging for travel to Srinagar from different Parts of Country. In a statement issued Spokesperson of Association, Nasir Khuehami said that Hundreds of Kashmir student’s stranded in different parts of Country after Govt order Closure of Educational Institutions till March 31 as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). He said that the airfares are very expensive and Students can’t afford such huge chunk of money. He said that the airlines charges over 15000/ for a ticket adding that in this amount, one can visit Dubai and come back.
He said that From Delhi, Chandigarh, the air fare to capitals of other countries like Kabul and Dubai are much less than what it costs to reach Srinagar, which otherwise is a journey of one-and-half-hour. The immense hike in airfare has made it unaffordable for Students Community to travel by air even during the time of ongoing Crisis of deadly Cornovirus. He said that, A Delhi- Srinagar ticket which usually priced at Rs 3000-Rs 4000 has now gone up to 13000 to 15000.
He said that, a cursory glance at various travel portals indicated that the one way airfare from Delhi to Srinagar for next two weeks is not less than Rs 14000. While the same went for Rs 3000 a month before. He said that taking advantage of closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway and heavy jam and rush of students, airline companies arbitrarily hiked prices of air tickets while the UT government and regulatory authorities act as mute spectators, he added. He said despite several assurances, the UT government has done nothing to control the air fares as of now. He also urged Authorities to register case against airlines operating in J&K for hiked prices of air tickets even in the time of Distress.
Khuehami said that, It’s really not understandable why the air fares skyrocket in the times of some crisis. Students suffer the worst. Most of the students who study at Central Universities or Government Colleges find it very hard to pay for the fares, it forces them to ply on the Jammu-Srinagar road which is no less than dangerous. Frequent traffic jams, very little or zero availability of food materials adds to the miseries, he said.
He Further added that, a normal air ticket between Srinagar to Delhi or vice versa costs between 3000-4000 rupess but the amount is doubled and even quadrupled during any crisis. Almost every students finds it difficult to pay such a hefty price. Khuehami said that as the country is fighting with the outbreak of COVID19, The fares are ranging from 13-14K on an average from past one week. This is not the first time, whenever any clamity or serious situation prevails, the unusual increase in the fares restricts the students to travel by road, which often remains either closed or very open to the traffic. He said that, this needs to looked up as students who belong to middle class families often have to pay huge fares to deal with any worst situation. Be it Pulwama attack aftermath or Article 370 abrogation aftermath, the students travelled with trouble. The matter is truly grave and needs to be taken seriously in this laborious time of this COVID19, he added.
Khuehami Requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri to Look into the matter and take up the issue with them (airlines) so that the airfares are reduced. He urged Prime Minister and civil aviation minister that airfares need to be kept under control. He expressed hope that Prime Minister would address this issue at an earliest and will ease hardships of Students Community.