Preparations should be made well in advance by the authorities this time to deal with the problem of non-availability of public transport in Srinagar city during evening hours in autumn and winter.
As the days become shorter and weather conditions change, the public transport starts disappearing from the roads as the evening approaches. There is shortage of mini buses, sumos, and auto-rickshaws on roads during that time.
On most routes, the mini buses and sumos stop plying in evening and the auto-rickshaws over-charge. Under these conditions the commuters suffer badly. A vast majority of people travel in public transport. They face problems due to non-availability of the facility. Every year this problem re-occurs during autumn and winter.
Those getting affected keep on drawing the attention of authorities. While the concerned authorities intervene and direct the transporters to keep the services available till late evening hours, practically it is seen that such directions are not followed. The mini buses and sumos do not ply in the evening hours.
This time the authorities must do something about it, so that the people do not suffer. If not comprehensive, but at least limited transport services should be operational in evening. People from various areas have been also alleging decrease in public transport services in their areas even during day time and that too in summer.
According to them the number of mini buses is getting reduced for last several years. Sumos had replaced the mini bus in a big way in these areas. But once the tourist season picks up, the number of sumos also reduces in Srinagar.
This is because they prefer carrying visitors to tourist spots. It is good that more income is generated by sumo wallas but commuters too must have an alternative means of transport.
That is not made available to them. The mini bus service should be enhanced in such areas. At the same time, now the transporters should be taken into confidence by authorities for ensuring services during evening in autumn and winter also.
All routes should have this facility. Shortage of public transport in evening is not a problem in Srinagar city only, the commuters in other towns of Kashmir Valley also face such situations.
The authorities in the towns must take notice of such things and ensure that the commuters do not face problems.