After being grounded for a week, Electric Buses to hit Srinagar roads today

LG office directs authorities to make service functional; Commuters hail move
After being grounded for a week, Electric Buses to hit Srinagar roads today
The electric-bus service was put in suspension mode on November 19, after apprehensions from the Traffic Department that this fleet of e-buses was causing “frequent traffic snarls” in the summer capital.File/ GK

Srinagar: After being grounded for the last one week, the fleet of 20 Electric Buses will hit the Srinagar roads from Thursday as the office of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has directed authorities to make this service functional once again.

The electric-bus service was put in suspension mode on November 19, after apprehensions from the Traffic Department that this fleet of e-buses was causing “frequent traffic snarls” in the summer capital. However, a senior official of the JK Road Transport Corporation, which runs this service, told Greater Kashmir that they have received the orders to resume this service from Friday.

“Kindly refer to the subject cíted above, where under it is submitted that Hon’ble former Governor of erstwhile state J&K during July 2019 flagged off Electric Buses for operation in Srinagar city on notified/identified routes for the convenience of commuters/general public. These buses have been continuously plying on notified /scheduled routes within and outskirts of Srinagar city. But all of sudden, its operation was restricted by the Traffic department”, the order reads.

Earlier while speaking to Greater Kashmir, the JKRTC official said that e-bus service is aimed to provide a boost to the ailing corporation. He said they have also received the directions from Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir PK Pole to resume the e-bus service. When contacted the Div Com confirmed that the “e-bus service was being resumed”.

“As reported by Managing Director JKRTC vide letter No. JKRTC/MD/PS/GMA/1110 dated 22-11-2021, the traffic authorities have imposed restriction on JKRTC electric bus services originating from Lal Chowk to various routes, which resulted inconvenience to general public/commuters and loss to the corporation. Although, the private buses/ maxi cabs are continuously plying within Srinagar city without any restrictions”, reads the order.

“The Hon’ble Advisor (B) has desired that necessary instructions be issued to the concerned traffic authorities to allow JKRTC Electric Buses to play as per the notified schedule to avoid financial loss as well inconvenience to general public”, states the order.

It may be recollected that in order to bring down the vehicular pollution and provide convenient mode of public transport, JKRTC had procured 40 electric buses in 2019 from India’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer Tata Motors under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme of central government.

Meanwhile, commuters who were suffering due to suspension of the electric-bus service have welcomed its resumption. “I am quite glad that our plea has reached the higher ups and they have decided to resume the bus service. Travelling by auto rickshaws is quite costly as they always overcharge commuters” said Irfan Ahmad, who frequently travels on the e-bus service.

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