Kashmir Indepth

Govt fails to check on overcrowded buses


SRINAGAR, March 18 (KINS): Amid coronavirus scare, authorities have failed to keep a check on overcrowded vehicles in Kashmir thus posing a threat of the virus.

Kashmir administration has been claiming that they are taking measures to prevent spread of virus in the valley.

Governments on Wednesday banned operations of interstate buses-incoming and outgoing in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the buses plying in Kashmir especially on streets of Srinagar are most overcrowded thus posing a serious threat spread of any virus. “There is no check on overcrowded buses in Srinagar,” said Mohammmad Altaf, a resident of Khanyar.

He said health is compromised because buses and sumos are always packed and overloaded.

“How can we stay away from those people who have symptoms of virus? Some mini-buses are supposed to carry 20 passengers but you will find they take more than 30 people,” said Gulzar Ahmad, a resident of Batamaloo. “I was travelling from Batamaloo to Dalgate in a bus. Everyone got worried when a person travelling in bus started coughing and sneezing,” he told Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

District Development Commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal Chowdary said public transport has been put under constant vigil. “Any vehicle found overloaded shall be seized,” he said.

Officials of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Wednesday said that it is going to procure thermal scanners for testing public for coronavirus at airport, railway station, hospitals, and other important public places.

They said all vehicles in Srinagar shall be disinfected and pasted with the stickers indicating the date and venue and validity of sterilization.

A spokesperson of the Corporation said that in wake of coronavirus scare, a meeting under the Chairmanship of Mayor Srinagar was held in Central Office SMC.

“Expressing great concern over the rising situation due to the apprehension of spread of COVID-19, the chair directed that necessary collaborative steps would be taken to disinfect railways stations, bus stands, mini bus stands sumo and taxi stands and the plying buses as well.  Mattu informed that the Sunday market, Macca Market, gyms etc. have already been closed,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a large number of non-locals as well as locals according to sources have managed to enter the valley without any proper screening. “There is not proper screening being done of those entering into Kashmir by road,” an official said.(KINS)

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