‘Running electric buses in city won’t be feasible due to pathetic roads’

‘Running electric buses in city won’t be feasible due to pathetic roads’

SRINAGAR: The government’s plan to start electric buses in the city has evoked sharp response from commuters as well as transporters who say the move won’t be feasible given the pathetic road condition across Srinagar.
The roads in Bemina, Qamarwari, Parimpora, Pantha Chowk, Sonwar, Jawhar Nagar, Mehjoor Nagar, Tengpora, Shutra Shahi, Dalgate, Nowgam and several downtown areas are in wretched condition and there are encroachments after every little distance, making it hard for electric buses – which require smooth roads – to ply.
Bashir Ahmad, a mini-bus driver, at Qamarwari Chowk told Kashmir Reader that the main road in the market has not been repaired from the last eight months and it has highly affected the vehicles.
“Government is not responding to our pleas. Still we manage things. But where would electric buses ply? They require smooth roads, which is nowhere to be seen,” he said.
Ghulam Rasool of Dalgate said despite being a tourist area the road leading towards the Mughal gardens is dotted with potholes at many locations.
“The Boulevard which remains flooded with tourists has potholes after every few metres. Authorities are very insensitive,” he said.
At city centre Lal Chowk, a trader Mehraj Din said the roads in Srinagar have become accident prone. “The pitiable condition of roads has made a hole in our pockets as we have to repair our vehicle almost every month. During rains and snow, these potholes prove fatal. We are very distressed as the roads have not been repaired since long,” he said.
The only time they (government) make some cosmetic repairs of roads (that too at a few places around Lal Chowk) is during the Darbar Move.
On electric buses, Mehraj said the condition of roads is not suitable enough to run these vehicles.
Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation, Bilal Ahmad while talking to Kashmir Reader said, “We can’t do anything. We are well aware about the problem of bad roads. This is a general problem here but we have to ply these electric buses.”
However, the Chief Engineer, Roads and Buildings Department, Sami Arif, said the repairing and patch work of roads will be started soon.
“This year we have good budget. We will repair all roads of Srinagar City,” the chief engineer told Kashmir Reader.