Kashmir Indepth

Process started to revamp public transport apparatus in Srinagar: Admin

Recognising the need therefor the Srinagar administration has initiated the process of revamping the public transportation apparatus of the district, an official spokesman said.

Prepare for the greatest experience after eating a nutritious breakfast. You will travel over some of the highest passes in the world on your adventure, and you will be greeted by ever-changing vistas of the desolate landscape. Stop at the café on Khardung-La Pass, the highest all-season motorable road in the world, and take in the scenery; you'll feel as though you're on top of the world. Upon leaving Khardung-la, the terrain changes to a white sand desert as you approach the Nubra Valley, which is home to the Nubra Sand Dunes. Visit the Diskit Monastery, the oldest and biggest monastery in Ladakh, which also contains a sizable Buddha statue, if time permits.

In this regard a marathon meeting with transporters of the district was convened here Thursday under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

The aim of the meeting which discussed a host of relevant issues was to understand the problems involved and develop a joint redressal plan which will resolve the problem of transportation in the district and improve its condition in tune with that available in other cities.

Several transportation associations of the district took part in the meeting — including Kashmir Motor Drivers Association, Western Bus Service Association and Eastern Bus Service Association.

Senior officers from concerned departments including Senior Superintendent of Police Traffic Tahir Gilani, Regional Transport Officer Kashmir Ikramullah Tak and Chief Planning Officer Srinagar M Yaseen Lone were also present in the meeting.

Some of a range of issues discussed in the meeting were deficit in infrastructure and unregulated movement of sumo among other vehicles used for public transportation and the need to address them.

The meeting emphasised the importance of – among other measures – developing and then compliance with a time-schedule of public transport service and ensuring halts for pick-and-drop are made at designated bus stops alone.

Several important decisions aimed at improving the transportation apparatus of the district were taken during the meeting. The decisions were made in consensus with all parties including the transport unions.

One of the said decisions made during the meeting was that the transport unions will submit a proposal with a list of mini-buses which will operate on city routes and that of buses which will operate on other routes. This will include proposed schedule of operation of transport services and locations of bus stops.

It was decided that once the proposal is submitted the Traffic and the RTO authorities will scrutinise it and finalise the bus stops and routes and timing of the transport service.

It was said a notification of routes where sumos and light motor vehicles would be allowed as public transport will be issued as part of the finalisation of plan. This will include strict conditions of colour coding, timeline and notified halts. It was said that any LMV, Sumo or Tavera found plying as public transport or stage carriage will face immediate suspension of permits and licenses for a period of one year.

The meeting was informed that the plan will be finalised in the next meeting on December 26 adding that once the plan is notified the mini-buses will have to adhere to routes and bus-stop-only stoppage. It was said any violations will attract cancellation of permits.

It was informed that the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and the Srinagar Smart City Limited will jointly initiate work on the said bus stops. The SSCL will also devise a plan for installation of GPS in public transport to monitor adherence to time-schedule, said the spokesman.

During the meeting approval was accorded to replacement of 400 three-wheelers – which will be scrapped in – by new autos with latest BIS standards compliance. It was said preference would be given to battery-operated rickshaws adding that installation of smart meters in them would be mandatory, he said.

Meanwhile, the SSCL has been asked to work on the requirement of common mobility cards for the city. It was informed that an EOI would be floated for the same, he added.

Speaking on the occasion the DC while thanking the transport unions for their cooperation said the district administration would be convening regular meetings with transporters in order to resolve relevant issues aimed at improving the public transport apparatus of the district, an official spokesman said.

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