Without any doubt, public transport forms the backbone of urban life. It also has economic and ecological connotations. Of late, there have been several issues facing the overall public transport systems and complaints galore on various fronts.
To address it, the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Kashmir held a meeting with transport and JKRTC officers and among others discussed reports regarding overloading in cabs across the city. The RTO as per an official statement said that such inputs are of a significant concern for authorities and the passengers, which cannot be overlooked.
In a right note, the RTO said that it can compromise the safety and comfort of the passengers and increase the risk of accidents. The overloading can also lead to discomfort during the journey especially the female passengers who may have to share limited space with others.
Taking serious note of the issue, the official statement said, the RTO Kashmir directed the officers to intensify the inspections especially in late evening hours and ensure that public transport is available and enforce penalties for violations of passenger capacity limits. He insisted on ensuring public transport is available during the late evening hours to all the places, especially from the Lal Chowk and all major hospitals of the city.
JKRTC official stated that due to Amarnath Yatra and Independence day preparations, the bus fleet is a little stressed, however, RTO asked the officials to compensate with induction of more private vehicles on the routes, especially on Lal Chowk – Harwan route.
Addressing the issue of overloading in cabs requires a collective effort from passengers, cab operators, drivers, and authorities and as such every stakeholder must play their part.
All the cab operators and drivers must adhere to the prescribed passenger capacity limits set in the permit conditions. While the official directive appears good, implementation needs to be ensured. There is also need to ensure that the public transport remains available till late in the evening so that the commuters do not face the problems in reaching their destinations. There is need to address the issue of some public transport operators literally abandoning the passengers midway instead of taking them to particular travel destination. The administration must also ensure insufficient public transport in some routes by augmenting infrastructure. At the same time, the issues facing the transporters need to be addressed with urgency.