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Transporters hold protest in Budgam against plying of Smart City Buses

Say service hits their livelihood
02:08 AM Feb 08, 2024 IST | Auqib Salam
transporters hold protest in budgam against plying of smart city buses
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Budgam, Feb 7: Scores of privately owned passenger bus operators held a protest on Wednesday in Budgam against Smart City e-buses. These transporters said that scores of e-buses are operating on the Budgam-Srinagar route, which has affected their livelihood.

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These transporters said that they want the e-bus service to be streamlined in a way that does not affect their livelihood.

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“These buses are meant for Srinagar city, and if they want to ply on this route, the government should think about our livelihood too. This issue has severely affected our livelihood, and we are hardly earning enough to make ends meet,” said one of the aggrieved bus operators.

The bus operators said that around 80 of their buses have been affected due to the issue.

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“We have sold our land and gold ornaments to buy these buses so that we can feed our families. When our livelihood is affected, we are not able to pay our monthly installments for the buses that have been financed by banks. There are over a dozen smart city e-buses running on our route which has declined our passenger flow. We appeal to LG administration and RTO Kashmir to look into the issue,” said another protesting driver.

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The passengers, however, claimed that since the authorities introduced inter-district e-bus service across variousa districts from Srinagar, it has boosted public transport. They said that they used to be at the mercy of cabs and other bus operators and faced a lot of issues.

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“I am a routine office goer and the e-bus facility has provided us with one more option. The privately owned bus and cab operators take a lot of time and wait for all seats to be occupied, and only then do they leave from the stand. Due to this issue, we have been facing inconvenience. E-bus service has also encouraged the privately owned bus and cab operators to respect the passenger’s time and operate in time,” Aneesa Khan, an office goer from Budgam, said.

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Later last year, LG Manoj Sinha launched 100 electric buses in Srinagar, many of which are operating between Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir. The passengers hailed the government decision and said that it has eased their travel.

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