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No one cares to reserve seats in buses for women

Srinagar, May 03: Despite the state government’s order to reserve first eight seats for women, only a few buses follow the rule.
The Motor Vehicle Act 1988 clearly specifies reservation of 33% for women in the local buses, but its implementation is hardly seen in the buses.
The Traffic department, under the MVA 1988 act, had issued an order in 2012 to reserve eight seats for women. However, almost all passenger buses plying in the city can be ignoring the norm.
“I hardly see any seats reserved for women in the city. I only once got an opportunity to use a reserved seat,” said Fyka Manzoor, a student of Kothi Bagh Higher Secondary School.
Another woman passenger said the men do not bother to vacate seats for the women to sit on.
“In fact, some men question this whole of idea seat reservation. The traffic department shall take strict actions against the buses not following the rule,” she said.
Saniya Farooq, a working lady, said: “Many men often take advantage of the crowded buses to molest women. I feel so uncomfortable and insecure. My experiences of travelling in the buses have been pathetic.”
She said the violation of traffic rules was hardly an issue outside the state.
“I have lived in Delhi, where reserving seats for women is very common. But cannot the same happen in Kashmir?” she asked.
Suraya Maqbool, a student of Women’s College M A Road, said: “Traffic department should ensure the reservation of seats, so that we will feel better and secure while travelling in buses.”
The bus drivers, however, blame the passengers for violation of the rule.
“Some passengers do not listen to the requests for vacating the seats,” a bus driver said.
Tahir Gillani, Superintendent of Police (SP) Traffic, Srinagar admitted that seat reservation rule was not being followed.
“We are on the job. We have fined a number of buses that were found violating the rule. We are taking actions against the offenders,” he said.
“If women face any problems in the buses, they shall report to our office.”