Authorities fail to ensure evening transport facilities in Srinagar

“After 5 pm, sumos plying on Aari Bagh road are hard to find,” said Sumaya, a commuter.

Failure of authorities to ensure evening transport facilities in the summer capital is taking toll on commuters.  

As the sunsets, public transport abruptly disappears from city roads causing immense problems to commuters to reach their respective destinations.

The commuters from various city routes complain that absence of passenger buses, sumos and mini-buses in evenings takes heavy toll on them.

“After 5 pm, sumos plying on Aari Bagh road are hard to find,” said Sumaya, a commuter.

Aaribagh is around seven kilometers from the city centre. “One can imagine the hardships of commuters residing at longer distances from the city centre,” she said.

A group of Aaribagh bound commuters, who were waiting for sumo at Lal Chowk, said that they have many times taken up the matter with concerned authorities. “But our pleas have met with deaf ears,” they said. 

People of Soura also complained of similar problem. “Soura bound public transport is used by hundreds of attendants and patients on daily basis. In evening, the attendants and patients are left with no option but to walk on foot to reach their respective destinations in absence of public transport,” said a group of attendants at Soura.

Inhabitants of Soura said that mini-bus owners have opposed starting of Sumo services on this route. “Sumo services will be in larger interest of patients who want to reach SKIMS for immediate medical treatments. Authorities must ensure Sumo services are started and public transport is available till late evening on this route,” said Mehrajudin, a local. 

Large number of commuters are daily seen waiting for passenger buses near Kashmir Hatt, Lal Chowk, Jehangir Chowk, Sanat Nagar, Rambagh, Jawahar Nagar, Abdullah Bridge, Sonwar, Batwara and Dalgate.

"I have been waiting for bus here from past 35 minutes, but there is no trace of it,” said a female commuter at Dalgate at 5:30 pm.

Many commuters said in absence of public transport, the auto rickshaws drivers charge exorbitant rates. Assistant regional transport officer, Srinagar, Arif Parveez Shah said that he would ensure public transporters remain available till late evening.