Commuters decry lack of evening transport facilities in Srinagar

Srinagar, Nov 20: Lack of public transport in evenings is taking a toll on commuters as they face problems to reach their destinations amid cold wave.

Many passengers said they are left stranded in city centre areas due to unavailability of public transport after sunset. They said that there are no cabs or buses available for the passengers in the Lal Chowk- Hazratbal,Harwan, and Lal Chowk-Uptown areas.

“The issue is taking a toll on commuters, especially students, women and elderly passengers. The cab service yards that operate at Exchange Road Lal Chowk and Maisuma are mostly deserted in the evening. In addition to that, the major cab service of Harwan route is also unavailable after sunset,” said Asif Ahmad, a passenger.

The passengers who board cabs from cab yards in the city centre say that the failure of cab operators to follow the timetable is leaving them stranded on a daily basis.

“Many passengers who board cabs to Hazratbal outskirts and Harwan find deserted sumo stands after sunset. The public transport operators usually call off the operation early in the evening, leading to these issues,” said another passenger.

The passengers have now appealed to the authorities to press more government buses on these routes so that they don’t have to rely on cabs and other buses.

“Many new buses have been added to the fleet by the government under the smart city project. We appeal to authorities to press more buses on the routes of Hazratbal outskirts, Harwan, and Srinagar uptown areas, which are facing these issues in the evenings,” said Tariq Ahmad, a passenger from Nishat.

RTO Kashmir, Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari, said that they recently had a meeting on pressing more smart buses on all the routes. He said that they will come up with a solid timetable on all the routes, and buses will operate till late evening.

“In Hazratal outskirts, I will direct the cab operators to ensure the cab service is on till late evenings. We are pressing more public transport on all the routes, and many buses are already operating in Srinagar till late evenings. In the next few days, the service will get stronger, and passengers will have a respite,” Bukhari said.

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