Commending Governor Satya Pal Malik for raising the issue of high air ticket prices on Srinagar route mainly during closure of roads, a Kashmir industry group has demanded more strict steps to curb exploitation of helpless travellers. Nasir Hamid Khan, the senior vice-president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said they had been raising this critical issue since long and has also given several suggestions to the government in this regard.
The KCCI appreciates the warning issued by the governor's administration to the airlines over the exploitation of Srinagar-bound passengers by the airlines when the Srinagar-Jammu road gets closed, more stringent measures are required to effectively tackle the menace, he said. It appeared that vested interests were indulging in blatant opportunism and exploitation of helpless travellers, Khan said. "The current policy was discriminatory in nature with one passenger paying Rs 2,000 and another paying Rs 30,000 for the same journey, " he added.
With the road link to Kashmir being out of commission for most of the time during winters, Khan said the only alternative mode of transport, airline, has become a cash cow for vested interests. "The consequences were serious for patients and their families who have to pay more for air travel than the cost of the medical treatment. Student and their families suffered equally. In addition, the tourism sector becomes out of bounds with entire packages to major tourist destinations costing less than the air travel cost to Kashmir," he added.
(With inputs from agencies.)