By: Sajidah Yousuf
Srinagar: In Srinagar city, female commuters seek revival of ‘Ladies Special’ bus service to curb the menace of harassment which they face while boarding the general public buses.
The initiative to overcome the issue was taken by Jammu and Kashmir Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) back in April 2016 by launching the bus service for female passengers only on various routes of the city.
However, the female commuters believe that the authorities are ‘least interested in resolving the issue and the initiative of special bus was a mockery’.
One of the female commuters said that womenfolk suffers the most when it comes to travel in public transport which are mostly overcrowded, especially in morning and evening hours.
“Congestion in the buses becomes an excuse for some people to harass us. They take advantage of overloaded buses,” she said.
Another female student said that the ‘Ladies Special’ bus service was very useful for girls who frequently have to travel via local buses.
“I don’t understand why the service was stopped as it was good initiative for the female folk. The service had a huge potential for safety of females and making their travel safe,” she said.
Pertinently, the initial route was launched between Lal Chowk to Hazratbal via Rainawari which bypasses Kashmir University campus, further from Lal Chowk to Soura via SMHS hospital and Nowgam Railway station to Lal Chowk via Pantha Chowk.
The busses were scheduled to ply on hourly basis and Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Kashmir and General Manager, JKSRTC were to monitor the service regularly. The service timing was between 8 am to 6 pm.
Manager SRTC, Habibullah Reshi said that due to Covid-19 pandemic the service was stopped by the concerned authorities, however, the bus service will resume in the next couple of days.
“We have got the representation from authorities and demand from the public also to start the service again and all the five buses of this service will ply in Srinagar city in next three to four days,” Reshi said.
Reshi said that due to Covid-19 lockdown, they didn’t receive any response on the special bus service, as schools, colleges, universities were shut for a long time, and therefore they stopped the service earlier.
“The buses will run on all the previous routes and with the same timing, any change in routes and timing will be informed to the general public accordingly,” he said. (KNO)