Srinagar, June 24: Even after Transport Department directing passengers to pay 30% more fare in public transport in times of Covid-19 pandemic, the passenger vehicles can be seen over loaded while the drivers caring a fig for the social distancing norms.
Transport Department hiked the fare after transporters complained that they are unable to ferry passengers as per the seating capacity of the vehicle.
Government has directed passenger vehicle drivers to carry passengers below capacity but transporters are not abiding by the rules. “A Sumo with a seating capacity of 6 passengers is supposed to carry 3 passengers and the driver is authorized to charge 30% more from the passengers. But what these Sumo drivers do surprise everyone. They carry only three passengers from the main Stand but after the onset of the journey, they keep on lifting passengers in the middle of the way. Not only they charge extra fare but also violate social distancing norms,” a group of passengers told news agency KNT.
A couple of days back, the Transport Department issued an order sanctioning charging of 30 percent of existing authorized fare (existing authorized fare plus 30 percent of the existing authorized fare) from the passenger vehicles, till further orders or till the restrictions imposed on the seating capacity in view of Covid19 pandemic are eased.
“After a pandemic situation is over, only the authorized fare can be charged from the passengers. This decision was taken with concurrence of Chairman, State Executive Committee under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.”
A number of passengers mostly from South Kashmir alleged that drivers not only violate social distancing norms, over load their vehicles with passengers but also charge extra fare from them. “I am ready to pay 30% extra fare provided the driver ferry passengers below the seating capacity of the vehicle,” Nisar Ahmed, a resident of Awanipora said.
When contacted an official said that drivers are authorized to charge extra fare, provided they carry lesser passengers and if any driver is violating norms, action will be initiated against him. He said that once the pandemic will be over, only the authorized fare can be charged from the passengers.