Passengers in Pulwama complain of overcharging by transporters
Pulwama, Mar 31: Passengers in south Kashmir’s Pulwama are complaining that the public transporters plying on the interior routes to different localities of the district are overcharging fares and violating the revised fare rates fixed by the government last year. People from different villages complained on the official Facebook Page of Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Syed Abid Rasheed, about the arbitrary overcharging by the public transporters including four-wheeler Sumos, Taveras and Tata Magic autos after the pictures of vehicles seized by ARTO Pulwama, Mukhtar Shah, for violating traffic norms and overcharging of fares from Newa to Pulwama were uploaded on the official page. Shahid Ul Islam Wani from Litter Pulwama, mentioned that Litter to to Pulwama town is is 14 kms and fare per person is Rs 40. Residents of Ratnipora wrote, “Please look into the grievance of passengers traveling daily from Ratnipora to Pahoo route. Drivers charge Rs 8 and 10 when the prescribed rate fixed by Transportdepartment is Rs 6. The route length is less than 2 km and as per rates fixed vehicles owners have to charge Rs 6 upto 3 km. But they don’t follow the government revised rates and overcharge. Residents concerned have raised the issue with ARTO Pulwama, who took action, but the drivers ignored the directive and are violating laws and overcharging passengers again.” Umer Nazir of Hassanwani villaged posted that Hassanwani is only 6 km far away from Murran Chowk Pulwama but “our route drivers (Auto 4 wheelers) take 15 rupees from us and misbehave with us in that manner I can’t tell.” Another resident posted that “Why ARTO Pulwama is silent upon the Sumo fare from marwal to Pampore and Marwal Pulwama”? Another resident wrote distance from Pulwama to Newa is just 5kms and from last year they are charging 15 rupees for a single passenger!” Another resident posted that Pathan to Pulwama route is just 3 kms and the fare is Rs 10. Residents from Tral area told KNS from Tral to Awantipora and Tral to interior routes like Nagpathri, Zarihar, Puranigam, hajin, Naristanand other villages said that passenger vehicles’ owners do not follow the fare rates. Assistant Regional Transport Officer, Pulwama, Mukhtar Shah, told KNS that he has formed a checking squad to check the violation by the public transporters. “We have seized vehicles of many violators. We will take action against violators when we receive complaints from passengers,” he said. Lauding the administration, the residents said that ARTO should deploy his teams regularly on the routes and should not restrict his action to ‘special drives’ only. “The administration should regularly monitor the public transport and taken action against violators,” they said.