Smart buses for bad roads
Two ills are affecting the transport sector in Jammu and Kashmir. One is the bad and highly uncomfortable medium of transport and the other is bad and unmanageable roads.
Though the governments from the past few years have been trying to rid us of the latter, the former is still a concern which needs to be addressed on emergency basis. The worries of the commuters are that the medium of transport in the state is such that no one feels comfortable in the buses and vehicles that have been approved for public transportation.
Be it hilly areas of the city transport service the vehicles have been designed so unprofessionally and approved by corrupt officials of the government that the commuter feels squeezed to death while boarding thee vehicles. The seating arrangements are not even fit for use by the kids while as fully grown adults are pressured to fit in the tailor made seats.
There is no movement possible in these vehicles and once a passenger is stuck amid overloading he has to scramble for space once he is to alight at his destination. The situation is same when a person is compelled to board a fully jam packed vehicle as he too has to squeeze his entire being and cling to someone to stay afloat.
But it seems that all this is scheduled to change as the state has received the first fleet of electric buses procured under a central scheme.
10 electric buses have been recently received by J&K State Road Transport Corporation from Tata Motors and 30 more similar vehicles will be added to the fleet of eco-friendly buses soon.
Though the buses won’t be able to run immediately, but around 20 buses each will be plying on Kashmir and Jammu roads after the model code of conduct is over.
The JKSRTC is procuring these 40 electric buses under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme of the central government. Each bus branded ‘New Horizon Vehicle’ is 30-32 seater, costing around Rs 1 crore.
The buses have been manufactured in a special manufacturing plant at Karnataka and will be complying with all the modern day requirement of public transport vehicles. Besides, they will be contributing very le to the already fragile environs of the state as the buses are to run on electrically charged batteries.
However, all said and done the new fleet of buses needs to be adapted and run on a massive scale and apart from the government, the private sector too needs to be involved in replacing their old vehicles with these new ones.
If the government does not think beyond its plan of restricting these buses to the government sector the very purpose and plan to introduce some modernity in the transport sector will fail. The government services will not be able to do justice with the actual needs and requirements of the entire transport sector.
Therefore, involving private player’s holds the key and the government should immediately get its thinking rolling to set out a plan where these smart buses will be the only mode of transport available on the roads in the state.