Sumo drivers fleece passengers in City, authorities in slumber

Srinagar: Charging of exorbitant fare by some cabs operating on different routes of Srinagar is taking a heavy toll on commuters.

Passengers alleged and complained that the common man is forced to pay extra fare as per the will of drivers. The commuters alleged that cabs plying on Dargah route from exchange road are overcharging fares and violating the fare rates fixed by the government through Transport Commissioner.

They said due to lack of check by the concerned department transporters are taking undue advantage, commuters are left with no option but to pay according to the will of the drivers, a passenger Jalees from Khanyar complained.

Commuters said overcharging in fares is unjustified as drivers are rarely strict to government rates and arbitrarily charge more and most importantly the quality of the service does not warrant a hike.

If you travel from exchange road to Baba-demb which is just a one kilometre distance, the sumo charges Rs 20 against the Rs 10, which is otherwise approved rate,” said Adil Ahmad, a commuter.

A sumo charges Rs 20 from Rainawari to Hazratbal. Thus, I have to spend Rs 40 daily from my home to school to attend classes,” said Adnan, a student.

The passengers also complained about overloading in the Sumos. Another passenger, Showkat Ahmad, said that as per the rules, the middle seat of the Sumo is reserved for three passengers.

But, he said, without caring for the rules, four passengers are pushed into the middle seat. “It becomes very inconvenient particularly when there is a female passenger,” he said.

Not only overcharging and overloading, commuters have accused the drivers of resorting to misbehavior.

“Whenever we complain about overcharging, they ask to get down from the vehicle and humiliate us. I was deboarded on Habak road during late hours before two days as driver on finding passengers for Shalimar route asked Habak passengers to deboard his cab ”, complained a female passenger from Habak.

The aggrieved passengers castigated the authorities for subjecting them to inconvenience, adding that transporters mostly Sumo drivers plying their vehicles on said roads are blackmailing the poor passengers who have been left with no other chance except to pay the fare as per the demand of the driver of the vehicle.

Commuters have urged authorities to implement proper transport fare rates across Srinagar city so that commuters do not get fleeced any more by the transporters charging exorbitantly from passengers.

Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Sajid Yahya couldn’t be available for the comments as he didn’t respond despite repeated calls being made to his phone. (CNS)

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