Much-hyped Ladies Special bus service turns damp squib in Srinagar

‘We are facing losses to operate fleet’
These buses have disappeared from roads and officials said that they are facing losses and are still running the buses.
These buses have disappeared from roads and officials said that they are facing losses and are still running the buses.Special arrangement

Srinagar: Inaugurated with fanfare, Ladies Special bus service is proving damp squib in absence of passengers.

The bus service was started by Chief Minister of erstwhile J&K State, Mehbooba Mufti in 2016 for women passengers in Srinagar city. The service was started with the objective for convenience of females to reach their respective destinations.

The special buses were scheduled to ply on hourly basis and Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Kashmir and General Manager, JKSRTC were to monitor their functioning. The service timing was between 8 am to 6 pm.

When the Ladies Special service was launched, it got a widespread positive response in Srinagar. Women, mostly college girls, would board these buses for secure travel. It came as a huge relief to girl students and women employees, who had to travel on these routes during peak hours.

These buses have disappeared from roads and officials said that they are facing losses and are still running the buses.

Manager operations SRTC, Habibullah Reshi, told Greater Kashmir that five buses were started. “Among them, four are operational and one is in a workshop,” he said, adding that buses are plying as per schedule.

Reshi said besides common passengers and government employees, female students boarded these buses. “Even during summer a bus used to earn good profit during the day. Now, schools, colleges and universities are closed and we are facing loss to operate our fleet. Despite that we are running services regularly,” Reshi added.

The service was halted during COVID-19 in Kashmir and the administration imposed restrictions on all public transport. The lockdown continued for almost five months till the markets and public transport was allowed to resume.

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