SRINAGAR: Kashmiris are once again facing exorbitant airfare prices ahead of the busy travel season, with some paying two to three times the usual fees to fly from Srinagar to Delhi. Typically, this flight would cost between Rs 3000 and Rs 5000, but the current prices range from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000.
Even Haj pilgrims are not immune to these high prices, with those departing from the Srinagar Embarkation Point (EP) having to pay Rs 50,000 more than those leaving from the Delhi EP. The price hike has prompted criticism from some quarters, who accuse the airlines of profiting unfairly at the expense of the public.
Senior CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami took to Twitter to denounce the increase in airfare prices. “Airlines are arbitrarily raising fares, leaving travellers in distress,” he tweeted. “Even Haj pilgrims are being forced to pay more. The tentative Haj amount payable by pilgrims at the Srinagar Embarkation Point (EP) is Rs 50,000 higher than that for pilgrims embarking from Delhi EP.”
During the 2023 Hajj conference, Smriti Zubin Irani, the Minister for Minority Affairs, announced that Indian citizens travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj would pay at least Rs 1 lakh less than the previous cost.