BY MUSKAAN BEIGH
Srinagar: Lack of special buses on various routes in the summer capital are taking toll of female passengers.
Females in the summer capital are demanding resumption of the women's special bus service that has been discontinued. The service was started to curb the routine inconvenience being faced by females while boarding the general public buses.
The service was inaugurated by then Chief Minister of erstwhile J&K State, Mehbooba Mufti in 2016. The women folk had praised the move and asked to enhance the service.
Females, mostly college girls, would board these buses for secure travel. Initially, the service was launched between Lal Chowk to Hazratbal via Rainawari, which bypasses the Kashmir University campus.
Service was also available from Lal Chowk to Soura via SMHS hospital and Nowgam Railway station to Lal Chowk via Pantha Chowk.
“Public transport plays an important role in our day-to-day lives but sometimes we face inconvenience in public transport. That is why this service was important. Almost all buses are overcrowded, which is not good for ladies as they face various issues,” said Shaima Riyaz, a student.
Greater Kashmir did a series of stories on the issue in which officials said that five buses were started, but the service was halted during COVID-19 in Kashmir.
The female passengers said that the bus service was never resumed and the females like students and office goers are facing problems.
“In winter, after sunset there is no bus or cab available. We cannot hitchhike like males, and we fail to secure seats amid rush hours. We hope that the government will look into it,” said Zahida, an office-goer. The passengers appealed to SRTC officials to start the bus service completely so that they won't have to suffer.