Passengers clamor to get into to a pink bust at the bus stop in Dimapur railway station. (Morung Photo)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | May 7
Women in Dimapur now seem to be upset over the let-down of the Pink bus service introduced last September; an initiative initially praised by all, especially women commuters.
Flagged-off on September 16, the pink buses after a month were ordered by the state government to also accommodate ‘married couples, elders, and children’ and subsequently reserve one row for women boarders.
With these, the buses are now overcrowded. For instance, as soon as a pink bus stops outside the railway station, there are nearly 50 passengers on it; all the seats are taken and many women are left standing on the aisle.
And while a row of seats are to be reserved for women as per the latest order, those who board first get the seats in actuality.
An official at the Nagaland State Transport Department infor
med that the partial generalization in the once women only pink buses was made, as initially, the buses were “plying empty” and failing to meet revenue targets when compared to general buses.
However, more women are choosing to opt for buses, and with the change in the accommodation policy, many are left without seats. For working women and those commuting from one end of the town to another, buses have become a more preferred transport to auto rickshaws, given the road condition and the cheap fare.
Ako-Ü, who works at the Treasury Department, is one such woman she boards the bus from Diphupar. Whenever she is lucky enough to catch the bus, she often finds it irksome to travel without a seat.
For Areni, a young mother, she went through a difficult ordeal when she commuted from the bus with her newborn baby.
Another regular commuter who teaches in a college described how she has to “steel myself, fight my way in, push and shove others to make some space for myself.” “It is not safety in Nagaland that concerns a lot of women. If the government had earlier introduced something, it should work well for the long run. This shows how efficient and trustworthy our government is,” she added.
So far commuters in these pink buses, especially women, have seen no reprise from the problems of overcrowding, haphazard seat reservation, inefficient ticket issuance etc.
“Complaints have been brought to us several times,” the NST official meanwhile admitted, adding that they are monitoring such cases.