Mini bus operators ‘refuse’ to board students paying half fare

JAMMU, Sept 28:
Students of various educational institutions were up in arms against the behaviour of mini buses operators, allegedly refusing them to board the vehicles for paying half fare.
Students from different schools and colleges, particularly those reaching this city from peripheries and outskirts for studies, have alleged that mini bus operators plying on different routes, do not allow them to board the vehicles, on seeing them in uniforms.
They further alleged that many college students, who are in civvies, are asked not to board the mini buses, commonly known as “matadors” and if they want to, they have to pay the full fare.
“Being students, we are eligible to get 50 per cent discount in mini buses plying on all routes by showing our identity cards issued by the authorities but unfortunately, we are facing hardships, as the operators are not allowing us to board the vehicles,” a student of Government Girls Higher Secondary School, said.
“I live in Gharota village, which is around 20 km from the city and to pursue higher studies, I took admission in a prominent higher secondary school and daily travel in these mini buses but sometimes, they do not allow us to sit and if they agree, then we have to pay the full fare,” she added.
Meanwhile, another student from Mishriwala, pleading anonymity said that she has to reach the city’s college by 0900 hrs to attend the first class, but she always reaches late by 15-20 minutes, due to the behaviour of the mini bus operators.
“One day, I exchanged heated words with the conductor over fare issue and he misbehaved with me and asked me to de-board, if I cannot pay the full fare,” she alleged and said the operators are defying the rules, but there is nobody to check them.
“Everyone is busy fining two-wheelers, car drivers under new Motor Vehicles Act, but there is no checking on these mini bus operators, who have a monopoly and harass the students unnecessarily,” she rued.
Meanwhile Deputy Commissioner, Sushma Chauhan here told, “Will enquire and resolve the genuine grievances of the students, at the earliest.”
Pratap Singh, Vice President of the youth wing of Panthers Party, said, “It is a matter of concern and previously also, we have brought this to the notice of concerned authorities.
“If the administration or the traffic police department will not settle the issue by taking it up with the transporters in a couple of days, we will launch an agitation in schools and colleges,” warned the student leader. (UNI)

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