TRC ticket counter operators fleece travelers

Irfan Tramboo

SRINAGAR, Sept 7: The private ticketing counters opened at Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) Srinagar by the administration are fleecing people by selling tickets that are Rs 300-400 expensive than the normal rates thus leaving people in lurch.
People thronging the TRC are saying that they have to pay extra money at the counters. People alleged that the travel agencies are taking undue benefit of communication blockade.
The counters established last week, have so far issued more than 8000 tickets. The Tourism Department which is facilitating the functioning of the counters, has asked the travel agencies to keep the margin of Rs 200 for each ticket that they issue at the counter. However, people are complaining that the margin is more than that.
“I had to travel to Delhi today and I was given different rates at the counters at TRC; one said Rs 2500 another said Rs 2700. Then I called my friend in Delhi and I booked the ticket from Srinagar-Delhi on scheduled on September 7 for Rs 2219 only,” Altaf Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar told Excelsior.
He managed to book 4 tickets on the same day for Rs 2219 each which saved him Rs 2000 in one go. He said that that there is flat price of Rs 2219 for the tickets from Srinagar to Delhi, “but they fleece people and are taking undue advantage of the circumstances,” he said.
Scores of people are returning from the counters and are trying to book the tickets from Delhi where they are saying that they can save up to Rs 500. “I am going to call my brother in Delhi, I will ask him to book my ticket; he will send me the PNR number. He told me that the tickets are way cheaper than what is being offered at the TRC,” Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Pulwama said.
The Excelsior team that went to the TRC to see the things on ground was manhandled and was asked to leave by the travel agents at the counters and stopped from discharging their professional duties.
When the issue of over-charging was brought into the notice of the Tourism Department, the officials assured that they will look into the matter and do the needful. An official who wished not to be named said that the travel agents have been asked to keep a margin of minimum Rs 200 for tickets to Delhi and Rs 300 for farther places in the country.
“We will look into the matter and we appeal people who feel that the travel agents are over-charging to come to us with the details and we will ensure proper measures,” he said.