Lack of public transport during evening hours in winter continues to create problems for the people in Srinagar city. As the evening sets in, the public transport drastically disappears from roads.
Mini buses and sumos go off the roads. The number of autorickshaws also goes down. There are complaints of over-charging by some autorickshaw drivers during evening hours.
The people are not facing the problem of lack of public transport in evening for the first time. This happens almost every winter. The commuters continue to suffer. Authorities are fully aware about the problem. But it seems that the matter is not taken seriously and is ignored.
The problem would have gotten resolved to a greater extent if the authorities had taken it seriously and found out a solution.
Various sections of society have several times apprised the officials of concerned departments, but no headway has been made in this direction except for the assurances.
These assurances never take a practical shape. Finally the people wait when the winter comes to an end and when the public transport operates during evening hours also. In winter since the days are shorter compared to summer, the absence of public transport further complicates the problem.
Those working rush from their working places to catch a mini bus or sumo before the public transport is unavailable. This also leads to lot of rush at bus stops and over-loading in mini buses.
The people do not want to take the risk of waiting since they are not sure whether the next bus or sumo would operate as it gets late. This also affects the markets. The shops get closed and those open are mostly without salespersons, who leave to reach home in time.
Large number of people from Srinagar city, who are working in other districts, reach here in the evening and find the buses and sumos disappeared.
They have to rely on the autorickshaws and mostly pay more. The authorities must give up the thinking that there is no solution to the problem regarding lack of public transport in evening.
There can be surely a solution if the matter is taken up with transporters. Manageable transport services should be made available on the routes.
Now when the Chillai Kalan has come to an end and the days are getting longer, bringing back mini buses and sumos on roads in the evening cannot be a big problem.
The transporters can be persuaded so that the services are made available till late evening hours also.