Commuters in south Kashmir complained that the authorities have failed to check the overloading in passenger vehicles plying on different routes in Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts.
The commuters alleged that the drivers were putting the life of the passengers to great risk by overloading.
People from different villages said that almost on every route the overloaded buses and small vehicles ply without any fear.
They alleged that the TATA sumo cab drivers do not leave the stand until they get at least 13 passengers for the destination.
This situation prevails mostly in rural and remote areas. The public transport scenario becomes even worse during evening hours.
“The passengers are forced to hang from the back of the vehicles. Some passengers sit on the roof while some are made to sit beside the driver’s seat, which is against the safety norms,” some commuters said.
“There is shortage of passenger vehicles which compels the passengers to travel overload,” Ali Mohammad a shopkeeper who regularly travels from his home to Shopian town said, adding that the drivers were taking “undue” advantage of the inadequate number of passenger vehicles.
Unchecked overloading in passenger vehicles particularly causes inconvenience to the females.
Toiba Jan, a student from Tral said the policemen do watch the overloading in the vehicles as mute spectators. “We have never seen a policemen or a traffic personnel taking action against the erring drivers.”
The passengers alleged that the traffic department doesn’t take action against overloading, though the drivers are fined for other traffic violations.
When contacted a top traffic official blamed the lack of adequate number of passenger vehicles for overloading in rural areas.
The official said the department has low manpower and cannot afford to deploy its personnel in every rural area.