How LG Sinha ‘MODIfied’ Kashmir

March 6, 2024
Smart City Electric Bus 1 1

SRINAGAR:  Every day Jameela Khan (name changed) had to leave home one hour early to commute to Lal Chowk. Private minibuses used to stop every 100 yards to pick up passengers which was making office goers, and students restive.  

Come 2023, people like Jameela have heaved a sigh of relief. Thanks to Smart City buses, she does not have to leave home early to reach the office.  

“The middle class has been suffering in silence. Particularly, the working ladies who do not have their transport facilities. We could not devote time to our children. We had to leave early to board the bus which was like a gas chamber. Since these red busses (smart city busses) have been introduced, we have heaved a sigh of relief,” she said.

Launched on November 1, 2023, by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the  Srinagar Smart City Electric Bus service has seen substantial growth, with the daily ridership increasing nearly fivefold since November.

The service operates through the night in specific areas and offers a climate-controlled environment, which ensures warmth during winters and cooling in summers—a notable and positive aspect. Smart City electric bus service achieved a milestone with 5 lakh passengers availing the facility in just 60 days.

Around 75 e-buses are presently operational in Srinagar.  Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL), has kicked off the process to procure an additional 25 electric buses for Srinagar.

The administration had announced to procure of 200 e-buses, 100 each for Srinagar and Jammu cities.  The e-buses in operation offer a seating capacity of 23, with 17 seats allocated for men and 6 reserved for ladies and physically challenged passengers.

Not only e-busses, but Centre’s Jan Aushadhi Kendras (JAK) have also made life easy for Kashmiris. “I used to get blood pressure medicine strip for Rs 295 from a chemist shop. I can buy the same for Rs 29 at Mdi dawai dukah. My drug bill was burning a hole in my pocket every month. Thanks to Modi ki dawaai (JAK), I am saved,” said Ajaz Ahmad Bhat, a shopkeeper from Bohri Kadal.

Figures reveal that 234 JAKs were established in J&K till November last year. Another 50 are in the process of being set up in the UT.  JAK  provides quality medicines to people at an affordable rate which reduces out-of-pocket expenses.

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