Baramulla, May 15: The absence of public transport service from the civil line area of the old town Baramulla is causing significant difficulties for the residents here.
The situation has been further compounded by the influx of patients to the Urban Primary Health Centre which is now equipped with expert doctors. Residents of the affected areas especially Bagh-i-Islam, Chesti Colony, Qadeem Edigah, and Suahil Colony are struggling to commute for their daily needs which include “ work, education, or accessing basic services.”
The lack of affordable and accessible transportation has become a significant hindrance, particularly for the elderly, students, and those with limited mobility. Residents are left with no choice but to rely on expensive private transportation options or to walk long distances under adverse weather conditions.
Shaista Mir, a teacher from Bagh-i-Islam, expressed her frustration saying, “It’s extremely challenging for me to reach my school in time. I have to walk over two kilometers to catch a bus from a neighboring area, and sometimes I end up missing it, causing disruption in my daily routine.”
Another resident, Mushtaq Ahmad, a shopkeeper in Qadeem Edigah, added, “The absence of public transport is affecting our business as well. In the absence of a regular transport facility we have to opt for three-wheelers to carry our goods and most of the time they charge exorbitant rates. Even for buying vegetables and groceries, we have to walk to the market which is more than a kilometre away.”
All these areas lie at a higher elevation which makes the walk from the main market a “backbreaking affair, especially for women and elderly residents.”
The situation has been aggravated by the recent establishment of the Urban Health Centre in the area. The availability of expert doctors and quality healthcare services has attracted patients from surrounding areas. However, the lack of public transportation has made it increasingly burdensome for patients to access the facility, especially those with medical emergencies or limited means.
Muhammad Amin, a resident of Old Town, highlighted the issue by pointing out that there is an existing transport service from Kanli Bagh to Sangri Colony in the Civil Lines area, which covers nearly half the distance compared to the distance from the Main Market to these areas in Old Town. “Despite this apparent imbalance, the authorities have shown a lack of seriousness when it comes to providing adequate transport services to these particular areas in the old town,” he said. Amim’s concern sheds light on the disparity in transportation accessibility within the town and emphasizes the need for the authorities to address this matter promptly.
Local community leaders and activists have raised their voices, urging the authorities to take immediate action. They have emphasized the importance of establishing a reliable and affordable public transport system to alleviate the hardships faced by the residents of Old Town Baramulla.
In response to the mounting concerns, Baramulla municipal council assured the public that they are actively working towards resolving the transportation problem. The President of Municipal Council Baramulla Touseef Raina said, “We will call transport authorities to explore the feasibility of introducing a dedicated light vehicle passenger service to cater to the affected areas.”
The residents of Old Town Baramulla eagerly await a solution to their transportation woes, hoping that their daily lives will soon be relieved from the burden of long and arduous commutes.