Lack of evening public transport takes toll on commuters in Srinagar

Srinagar, Feb 15: Various areas in the summer capital are without reliable public transport in evenings causing immense inconvenience to commuters.

According to a survey, around ninety percent of commuters use public transport in the summer capital to reach their respective destinations on daily basis.

As per commuters, most of the public transport goes off the roads in the evening.

Large number of commuters can be seen daily waiting for passenger buses near Pampore, Kashmir Hatt, Lal Chowk, Jehangir Chowk, Sanat Nagar, Rambagh, Jawahar Nagar, Abdullah Bridge, Soura, Sonwar, Batwara and Dalgate, Gogjibagh, Bemina and its adjacent areas. Most of them, including elderly persons, can be seen waiting for passenger transport in evenings.

“Sometimes we are helpless in absence of public transport in evenings. We have to undertake complete destination on foot,” said a group of Chanapora bound passengers at Jahangir Chowk.

Commutes from Darbagh, Harwan, Danihama, Mufti Bagh, Barji, Bat Mohalla and other adjacent areas have similar complaints.

Bashir Ahmad, one of the residents of Harwan said, “Sumos ferrying passengers on these routes change or shorten their destinations after 5 pm.”

“Suppose, a sumo ferries passengers from Lal Chowk to Harwan. But after 5 pm, the same sumo refuses to cover this destination and will ferry passengers from Lal Chowk to Nishat only. It leaves passengers of other areas fuming and helpless,” he added.

Some areas on city outskirts are also without public transport in evenings. On some routes, only Sumo service ferry passengers and no mini-buses are available.

“Unreliability of public transport raises question over the functioning of concerned authorities,” said Javaid Ahmad, a commuter.

Some of the areas where no mini-buses are available include Syed Abad Soiteng, Padshahibagh, Lasjan and Dara.

“Our children are studying in various coaching centres located in other areas. Every student has to spend Rs 40 per day on average for travelling in Sumo. The bus fare would only be just Rs 15 to 20 per day on average if mini-buses are available on our route,” said Ghulam Hassan Bhat of Syed Abad Soiteng.

An official of Regional Transport said that matter would be looked into. “We have been receiving complaints of public transport going off the roads at few routes in evenings. We are taking action,” he said. He added that most of the complaints pertain to Sumos who refuse to ply in evenings “after earning good amount during day.”

He said that public transport must be available to commuters in evenings. “We will call transporters to ensure passengers don’t suffer in the evening,” he said.

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