Coronavirus scare: Open loot by drivers in Jammu

Jammu-Sgr travel becomes a costly affair, students, employees say drivers fleecing them by charging Rs 3500 per passenger

Srinagar, Mar 17 : There is an open loot going on in Jammu and none other than drivers are involved in the act as they charge Rs 3000 and even more per passenger especially students and employees who are desperate to reach Srinagar by road journey.

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), dozens of students who were studying in various colleges and universities of India, complained to that after reaching Jammu from various parts of country, they were asked to pay Rs 3000 per passenger by the drivers at Jammu for travelling to Srinagar. “Many of us failed to pay the amount and were left with no option to manage money from friends and others,” a group of students said.

Adil Nazir, who had travelled by train Chandigarh to Jammu, said he reached Jammu early on Tuesday morning. “I was already very tired and when I tried to board a Travera vehicle for Srinagar in a bus stand at Jammu, I was asked to pay Rs 2800. I was shocked as I was having only 1500 in my pocket. I had to go to nearby ATM to withdraw more money,” he said.

Like Adil, there were dozens of others, who were also desperate to travel to Srinagar, were asked to pay the same rate for boarding vehicles from Jammu to Srinagar.

Imtiyaz Ahmed, who works in a cellular company in Chandigarh, said that he reached Jammu on Monday morning and went to bus stand Jammu to board a vehicle for Srinagar. “I saw drivers including some Kashmiris as well, demanding Rs 3500 in advance for boarding the vehicle for Srinagar. I was surprised to see the new rate with no check from the authorities,” he said. “Many women passengers including some patients, who had reached Jammu to see a doctor and wanted to reach back to their homes in Srinagar, were finding it difficult to pay hefty amount.”

Rouf Ahmed, a driver said that genuine rate from Jammu to Srinagar was Rs 1200 but some drivers were looting people on the pretext of Coronavirus scare by stating that it’s time to reach their respective homes as early as possible. “Government must take action against these drivers. They are creating problems for genuine drivers,” he said.

A group of passengers who couldn’t afford to pay the amount sought by the drivers that they decided to lodge a protest at Deputy Commissioner Jammu and also Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Jammu. “This is open loot and there is no check,” they said—(KNO)