|Early Times Report|
POONCH, July 9: The passengers travelling on Sumo Taxis as a mode of public transportation to and fro Mendhar town of district Poonch from various locations are getting fleeced by the operators of such vehicles as they are being charged extra amount for carrying luggage while commuting. Several passengers who frequently travel on Sumo Taxis informed Early Times that while commuting from Mendhar to Kalaban, Kote Qasba, Harni, Ari, Suruti, Balakote, Mankote, Chhatral, Jughal, Check Banola, Narol, Chungan, Dharana, Salwah, Gohlad, tehsil Surankote and its surroundings, tehsil Mandi, adjoining district of Rajouri and Jammu or vice versa, the travelers are forced to pay extra money in order to carry their luggage in the vehicles. Expressing resentment against the Sumo drivers, the aggrieved passengers said that they are being charged for the belongings they carry which otherwise is included in the actual fare. “A passenger is being forced to pay double fair for carrying a bag or other luggage along with him or her,” they said, adding that the authorities concerned are urged to look into the matter so that they could heave a sigh of relief from this loot. Passengers demanded that the Sumo vehicles plying in the district should be checked on daily bases as they also indulge in overloading, adding that only allowed numbers of passengers should travel while the regular inspections would also ensure that the drivers will refrain from overcharging. They urged to the DDC, Poonch to direct Additional Regional Transport Officer, Poonch to take stringent action against the Sumo drivers found violating the norms. Meanwhile, when contacted, Tehsildar Mendhar Dr Vikram Kumar said several complaints of overcharging have been received. “I ask passengers to contact me anytime if any Sumo driver overcharges,” said the Tehsildar.