Authorities fail to ensure evening transport facilities in Srinagar

Commuters aghast; will hold meeting with stakeholders to resolve issue: ADC Srinagar
Authorities fail to ensure evening transport facilities in Srinagar
File Photo

Srinagar, Nov 22: Failure of authorities to ensure evening transport facilities in the summer capital is taking a heavy toll on commuters.

A group of passengers said after 4 pm, public transport like cabs and buses disappear from various routes in Srinagar.

“I have to reach Danihama Hazratbal on Srinagar outskirts but there no public transport is available after 5 pm. What will I do?” asked Altaf Ahmed, a passenger from Danihama area.

“Everyone does not own a vehicle and we are dependent on public transport. Srinagar administration is sitting on the issue for years now,” he added.

Dozens of passengers also echoed the same concern. Residents of Harwan area said that the cab service in the area does not work properly during evening hours. They said that the students, office goers are facing hardships for years now, especially during winters.

“We reached out to officials and media also highlighted the issue, but nothing has been done by the Srinagar administration. It is a major issue and office goers, students who travel on a daily basis face this problem. These cab operators ply on routes at their own will and whim. As the sun goes down, they stop their operation,” Mohammad sultan from Harwan said.

President Kashmir Taxi Cab transporters Federation, Javaid Ahmed said that they ensure to operate till late evening on the routes which are registered with them.

“The routes that you mention have mostly unregistered cabs and they work as per their own convenience. The routes like Soura, Karan Nagar, Dalgate, and south Kashmir are registered under our federation and we try our best to keep the service going on till late. We have been pushing to merge all the cab associations under one umbrella, but we did not receive support from the administration due to unknown reasons. We can’t push those operators who are not registered with us. There needs to be a proper mechanism and responsibility so that cab operators don’t disappear after sundown,” Ahmed said.

The residents from the Srinagar areas say that SRTC should push more buses on these routes so that passengers won’t suffer. “In our area, there is one SRTC bus operating from the past few months but that is not enough. We at Mulphaq area have been asking for the same service but it is limited to a few areas,” said Adil Ahmed, a student.

An official from SRTC said that they had pressed around 20 buses in the Srinagar route only. He said that they would press more buses into service but traffic authorities are not allowing them citing traffic jams.

“Our buses have been operating on Gulabagh, Chatrahama, Soura, Pampore and we would have added more. However, our buses were first stopped at Panthachowk and not allowed into the city and recently all buses were stopped by traffic authorities citing traffic jams. The passage volume is huge and unless the cab operators work properly and SRTC buses are used the passengers will suffer routes won’t suffice. Ironically private cabs are allowed into the city and not government buses,” he said.

ADC Srinagar, Syed Hanief Balkhi while acknowledging the problem said that they had a meeting related to the issue couple of days back.

“We called all the stakeholders and discussed the issue. We will make sure that all the discussed points will be implemented on the ground. We also discussed the issues related to the SRTC buses. We will hold meeting again so that Transport authorities, Traffic police and Transporters will work in collaboration so that passengers won’t suffer,” Balkhi said.

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