Easing out air travel
As the Jammu-Srinagar national highway has been giving the passengers a tough time and air travel getting out of the reach of even the upper class, the clamor for having an airlines operating with cheaper rates is growing in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The skyrocketing airfares that are being witnessed by passengers travelling on the Jammu-Srinagar-Delhi circuit is not only creating troubles for the common man but tourists too have started to ignore destinations like Kashmir.
The exorbitant air fare has been a concern among the people and the tourism players alike as various moves were initiated by the state governments in the past to control the rising air fares. But all this proved to be hoax as the private airlines have been operation here on the conditions set by them with they giving least attention to the concerns and reservations expressed by the people here.
Amidst this entire din people and tourism players operating here have been raising a pitch for extending UDAN air travel scheme to Kashmir as the scheme facilitates cheaper airfares to several destinations.
The government of India in 2016 launched UDAN (ude desh ka aam nagrik) scheme to make air travel affordable for people through subsidized ticket prices and to provide air connectivity to smaller towns.
The aim of the scheme is to connect major cities with tier-II and tier-III cities at a price of Rs 2,500 per one-hour flight. The scheme, if extended to J&K, can prove to be a boon to the state’s hospitality sector and ensure cheap airfares to passengers travelling to and from the Srinagar airport.
Presently, the tourism sector is bearing the brunt of exorbitant airfares, wherein a ticket in the Srinagar-Delhi sector costs around Rs 10,000 on an average. These fares touch the sky when the Srinagar-Jammu highway—the only surface link of Kashmir with rest of the world—gets closed.
The increased air fares also hit the students and frequent traveler who have to put themselves at risk by opting to travel by the undependable Jammu-Srinagar road link. Students who number in thousands study in various colleges and Universities across India, but they too find it hard to travel back to their homes during vacations as the airfare is so high that they cannot even think of availing the services.
Similarly, people who tend to visit various Indian states for seeking medical treatment also face lot of difficulties while availing the air travel as the private airlines have resorted to all unfair means to harass the travelers.
In such a scenario the introduction of UDAN services can help to provide the much needed relief to the people of the state. The move can also help the already stressed out tourism Industry which has been bearing the brunt of uncertainty prevailing in Kashmir.