Srinagar, June 30: Transport ministry has taken various measures on war-footing basis to bring respite to the passengers travelling on the historic Mughal road in Pir Panjal region of the state.
Minister Transport Abdul Gani Kohli said that they had been receiving regular complaints about overloading and overcharging on the Mughal road and other districts including Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch.
Taking cognizance of the complaints, the ministry ordered an inquiry which revealed that the drivers of the vehicles especially mini vans—Sumo, Xylo, Tavera etc—were overcharging the ‘poor’ passengers travelling on the route.
In a bid to arrest the trend, the ministry initiated various measures and according to Kohli it included the start of special transport services for the socially and economically deprived classes with less travelling fares.
“Special teams have been deputed at various places to keep a check on the erring drivers in the region,” he said.
The response has started to pour in as the teams have in less than a week seized some fifty vehicles with no or outdated documents. The drivers charging collecting hefty sums from passengers are also being put to task, the minister said.
Proper rate-lists have been made mandatory for each of the vehicles’ and anyone found involved in violation of the orders will be strictly dealt with, he said. It has also been made necessary to charge distinctively for each passenger spot.
The minister said that in a fresh action the ARTO’s Jammu and Shopian have seized dozens of vehicles for violating the traffic norms. Reiterating his stance, the minister said that whosoever involved in violation of any of the set norms will be put to task.
Sources said that transport department has realized a fine Rs 35000 from drivers for violating the provisions of MV Act and rules on Hirpora to Dabijan road section alone in recent past.
Meanwhile, Kohli said that SRTC will soon start 22 new buses across the state particularly in neglected areas.
The priority areas, he said include Doda,Bhaderwah, Shopian, Charar-e-Shareef, Kupwara, Kargil, Leh and Ladakh. (GNS)
2015 Kashmir Despatch