Ladies only bus service to resume within fortnight in city: SRTC

Arrangements in final stage, routes specified for fleet: Official

Srinagar: Authorities on Monday said it is all set to resume women exclusive or ladies-only bus service in city areas “within a fortnight” and urged women commuters to avail the facility.

An official of State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC), wishing not to be named, while speaking exclusively to Rising Kashmir said the all lady bus service will be resumed in city areas within a fortnight.

He said the service was discontinued due to some “unavoidable” situation, however, added that SRTC is all set to resume it now within a fortnight.

“The service was discontinued due to Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted every sphere of life since its outbreak. However, it will be restored within a fortnight and required arrangements in this regard are underway," the official said.

Notably, during the PDP-led coalition government in Jammu & Kashmir, the service was started in 2016 in which former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti showed a keen interest.

However, the service was discontinued in 2019.

The official told Rising Kashmir that earlier the SRTC procured five special buses for those commuting to Kashmir University, Dargah Hazratbal, SKIMS Soura and other vital locations. He said the buses are meant for the same purpose and will not be allowed to ply for general passengers.

“The five special buses will hit the city roads within a fortnight. Lady commuters must board into these specific vehicles other than general buses. The SRTC has rolled out the service aimed to cater the needs of women commuters," the official said.

He said although SRTC resumed the women exclusive bus service after the Covid-19 situation improved, however, “due to closure of educational institutions and restricted movement of people on roads, the buses suffered losses which forced authorities to suspend their operations temporarily for some time”.

“The SRTC resumed operations of two women exclusive buses after Covid-19 situation started improving in the city, however, the minimal interest shown by women commuters for these buses led to their suspension temporarily," he said.

The official added that SRTC has finalized the arrangements in this regard and routes for these exclusive buses have been identified. “The five women special buses will ply from Lal Chowk to Kashmir University, Lal Chowk to SKIMS Soura, GB Pant Hospital to Soura SKIMS and also from Pampore to Soura SKIMS via Qamarwari route.

He appealed to women commuters to avail the facility which is specifically meant for them. He added if women commuters do not board these vehicles, the circumstances will again lead to its temporary suspension.

“The SRTC vehicles are time-bound. They are plying on specific routes during the prescribed time. Be it morning or evening shifts, these are meant for providing convenience to our womenfolk who face hardship in private transport while commuting," the official said.

While urging women commuters to board these SRTC women exclusive buses, the official added the service provided by SRTC will not only save their time but also provide them with a comfortable travel experience to their destinations.

Pertinent to mention, the women commuters in the city are facing inconvenience while commuting and have appealed to authorities to resume the lady only bus service in city areas without any delay.

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