JAMMU, Jan 30: Minister of State for Transport (Independent charge), Sunil Kumar Sharma today said that with the initiative of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti nine Ladies Special buses are being plied in Jammu and Srinagar cities at present and 24 more such buses will be made operational in some other inter-district routes across the State.
Replying to the Calling Attention Notice of NC member Dr Shehnaz Ganai in the Upper House today, the Transport Minister claimed that J&K Motor Vehicles Department has taken several steps for safe and secure travel of women and handicapped persons in public transport.
Sharma said that reservation of seats in vehicles for women and disabled persons have been made mandatory. He said instructions have been issued for specifying seat categories of passengers with the painted inscriptions like “Reserved for women and Handicapped persons” in Urdu and Hindi and if such persons were not travelling in the bus the same may be allowed to use by the normal male passengers.
The Minister stated that it is statutory obligation for all State carriage vehicles (buses and mini buses) in the State of J&K to reserve 50% of seats for women and handicapped persons. “Any violation shall make the permit holder liable for action under Motor Vehicles Act and Rules, which apart from fine and penalties can result in suspension/ cancellation of permit”, he added.
He further said that SRTC buses plying on the district and intra-district routes have also reserved seats for lady passengers. He maintained that as a mark of respect and empowerment of womenfolk the SRTC has recently started Ladies Special Buses in the twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar which would subsequently be extended to other cities and towns as and when the fleet of corporation was augmented.he said at present 9 such buses are plying and Govt contemplates to start 24 more such buses on intra-district and some other city routes.