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City Bus crisis in Guwahati: Common man faces the hurdle

By The Assam Tribune
City Bus crisis in Guwahati: Common man faces the hurdle
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Guwahati, April 1: A daily city bus commuter from Guwahati lamented that he never reaches on time to his work place, despite the fact that he starts early from home. "We don't get a high paying salary and public bus is the only means of commute for our daily travel. The city bus drivers and conductors are taking things for granted. The way they ply on the roads is pathetic," said a daily commuter.

Guwahati city bus commuters have been under enormous strain when it comes to public buses. Most of the bus services are overcrowded and inconvenient; halt on stoppages for a longer duration, stopping and picking passengers from busy and crowded roads and sometimes competition among the buses have proved to be dangerous. Moreover, the government-run public buses are also not sufficient for the commuters as very few buses are available on the roads.

"The city bus drivers and conductors sometimes halt the buses for long duration. Until they pick up enough passengers they hardly move, this ultimately delays our commute, moreover they also charge higher fares as per their wish," said another commuter.

"The bus stops for a longer duration at Chandmari, Zoo Tiniali, Guwahati Club. They charge Rs 10 even for the shortest route, earlier it was Rs 7," said an elderly couple.

"A few days back there was a scarcity of city buses due to elections in Manipur and the buses were overcrowded and was impossible to get in. The traffic and flyover constructions are already delaying our commute, moreover, the buses halt for more than 5 to 10 minutes at each stoppage. This is an added harassment for the public," said a working woman whose daily means of commute is the city bus.

She further adds that prior to Covid, a lot of rules were enforced which are nowhere to be seen now. "Its high time transport authorities must monitor the situation at the earliest and increase the number of government-run buses. The traffic department also needs to keep a strict vigil on the roads so that the rules are not violated."

Meanwhile, the Assam Motor Workers Association (AMWA), held a two-day chakka bandh on March 28 and 29, in protest against the alleged "atrocities" of the State government on commercial motor vehicle workers and owners. The association in a statement claimed that the commercial vehicles have suffered a huge loss during the Covid induced lockdown, however, the Assam government did not provide any support to the drivers and conductors of the commercial vehicles. "The same government is now bombarding us with fines and taxes on vehicles rather than giving us some relief," the AMWA stated.

Earlier this month, the Kamrup Metro District Administration initiated an effort to reduce traffic congestion caused by the unregulated buses in the city. The Administration has pushed for the immediate demarcation of 60 bus stops in Guwahati with proper signage.

Further, the Guwahati Traffic Police has been directed to take stringent action against buses halting on flyovers and undesignated bus stops. Moreover, it was also decided that action will be taken against the bus drivers and not the bus owners for violating traffic rules which would help in curbing the unruly behaviour of the drivers and reduce cases of traffic rule violations.

Although the authorities are steadfast about the new rules to curtail traffic violations, it would be crucial to witness how the measures will be implemented that would give some respite to the common people.

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City Bus crisis in Guwahati: Common man faces the hurdle

Guwahati, April 1: A daily city bus commuter from Guwahati lamented that he never reaches on time to his work place, despite the fact that he starts early from home. "We don't get a high paying salary and public bus is the only means of commute for our daily travel. The city bus drivers and conductors are taking things for granted. The way they ply on the roads is pathetic," said a daily commuter.

Guwahati city bus commuters have been under enormous strain when it comes to public buses. Most of the bus services are overcrowded and inconvenient; halt on stoppages for a longer duration, stopping and picking passengers from busy and crowded roads and sometimes competition among the buses have proved to be dangerous. Moreover, the government-run public buses are also not sufficient for the commuters as very few buses are available on the roads.

"The city bus drivers and conductors sometimes halt the buses for long duration. Until they pick up enough passengers they hardly move, this ultimately delays our commute, moreover they also charge higher fares as per their wish," said another commuter.

"The bus stops for a longer duration at Chandmari, Zoo Tiniali, Guwahati Club. They charge Rs 10 even for the shortest route, earlier it was Rs 7," said an elderly couple.

"A few days back there was a scarcity of city buses due to elections in Manipur and the buses were overcrowded and was impossible to get in. The traffic and flyover constructions are already delaying our commute, moreover, the buses halt for more than 5 to 10 minutes at each stoppage. This is an added harassment for the public," said a working woman whose daily means of commute is the city bus.

She further adds that prior to Covid, a lot of rules were enforced which are nowhere to be seen now. "Its high time transport authorities must monitor the situation at the earliest and increase the number of government-run buses. The traffic department also needs to keep a strict vigil on the roads so that the rules are not violated."

Meanwhile, the Assam Motor Workers Association (AMWA), held a two-day chakka bandh on March 28 and 29, in protest against the alleged "atrocities" of the State government on commercial motor vehicle workers and owners. The association in a statement claimed that the commercial vehicles have suffered a huge loss during the Covid induced lockdown, however, the Assam government did not provide any support to the drivers and conductors of the commercial vehicles. "The same government is now bombarding us with fines and taxes on vehicles rather than giving us some relief," the AMWA stated.

Earlier this month, the Kamrup Metro District Administration initiated an effort to reduce traffic congestion caused by the unregulated buses in the city. The Administration has pushed for the immediate demarcation of 60 bus stops in Guwahati with proper signage.

Further, the Guwahati Traffic Police has been directed to take stringent action against buses halting on flyovers and undesignated bus stops. Moreover, it was also decided that action will be taken against the bus drivers and not the bus owners for violating traffic rules which would help in curbing the unruly behaviour of the drivers and reduce cases of traffic rule violations.

Although the authorities are steadfast about the new rules to curtail traffic violations, it would be crucial to witness how the measures will be implemented that would give some respite to the common people.