The commercial drivers plying between Charar-i-Sharief to Srinagar are resorting to overloading and also don’t possess licenses.
The police is however “ hand in glove’’ with the drivers and accepts bribe mon¬ey and allows them to flout the rules.
Over 100 commercial vehicles ply be¬tween Srinagar and Charar-i-Sharief but only a small number of drivers have licenses.
Local drivers allege high handedness by the police and blame that they pay have to pay them “bribe to evade action.’’ The residents have sought that the police should regularly check licenses.
Residents complain that the police is unable to act against over-crowding in the passenger vehicles and drivers also overcharge from the commuters. The practice of a driver adjusting a passenger on his own seat is very common.
“The local police takes bribe and don’t due to which they are not able to take action. The money reaches to the higher Authorities as well,” said a local resident, Tabish.
The drivers also don’t charge on per kilometer basis. “ The commuters from Chari Sharief to Srinagar have to pay Rs 50 for 29 Kms and same amount has to be paid if a passenger gets down at Chanapora highway which is a good 6-kilometre less in distance.’’
Residents have also complained that from Srinagar in the evening hours they are not able to get the vehicles that leaves them stranded. “After 5 pm drivers refuse to ply from Chari Sharief to Srinagar stranding the passengers including the students and government employees in Srinagar,” said a resident.
The residents demand that Regional Transport officer should direct the com¬mercial vehicle operators to ply even in late evening at least upto 8 pm. The skel¬etal service also disrupts any commu¬nication facilities with the areas of Pulwama and Pakherpora. Locals have sought a regular bus service between Charar-i-Sharief and areas of Tilsara, Hopru and Badipora.
When contacted Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Kashmir, Mehmood Ah¬mad Shah, said, “ Last time residents of the town had approached me, I had sanctioned a direct bus service from Srinagar to the town when they de¬manded so. They wanted the bus service through Jehangir chowk and Rambagh, but then there came directions from the High court denying plying of buses from that area in view of flyover con¬struction. If the local residents give the written complaint about the refusal of the drivers to ply in evening hours, we will take action.”
However Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Chari Sharief, Ashiq Hus¬sain Taq, said, “ I personally check the credentials of drivers regularly and there is not a single day when vehicles are not challaned for more than one crime.’’