Regarding overcharging, overloading and not following SOPs by drivers, people can approach District Police: Transport Commissioner J&K
Srinagar, 16 June: Scores of people from Baramulla and Islamabad on Wednesday alleged that they are being asked to pay double fares by the drivers and throw caution to the wind by boarding more than 50% of the passengers.
The aggrieved persons said that the drivers, especially of Sumo vehicles, are charging different fares from them regularly. Even one of the passengers from North Kashmir’s Baramulla said that double fares have become a norm with Sumos boarding passengers at full seating capacity in the district.
“Before the 19% hike, I used to pay rupees 40 for my travel and was increased to 50 rupees after the transporters’ strike, but now I pay 100 rupees for the same journey via sumo with barely any adherence to the 50% seating capacity by the drivers,” said Mohammad Shaaban, a local from Baramulla.
Another local from South Kashmir’s Anantnag said that he is asked to pay 30-40 rupees for around three kilometres despite already paying a 19% hike on the earlier fare charge. “The vehicle here also mostly runs at full seating capacity and can pose a threat in the given circumstances,” the local said.
On contacting Mubashir Jan ARTO Baramulla regarding the issue, he said that only rupees 24.15 or round figure of 25 rupees is to be paid by five passengers per kilometre, which amounts to five rupees per head for one kilometre. ”Now, if Sumo is boarding nine persons for a kilometre, the same fare of 25 would be equal to 2.77 or 3 rupees per head for the same commute of one km,” ARTO said.
While apprising ARTO about one of the passenger’s accounts of paying 200 rupees for his two commutes in a day whereas he used to pay only 100 rupees for the same, he said he would depute his team to check the things and requested people to let him know while facing such issues.
However, when KNB contacted Transport Commissioner J&K Pradeep Kumar, he said that if drivers are not following SOPs and are overcrowding or charging more fares, the passengers can report the same thing to district SSPs or district police as it is given in the orders.
On apprising Kumar about Baramulla’s people facing issues related to double fare charge and others, he said that the district transport office has limited staff, and in such circumstances, SSPs of districts are ordered by the government to enforce the SOPs, and other already given directions to transporters.