Treat all buses as your own property: Showkat Ahmad, General Manager (Operations) JKRTC
Showkat Ahmad is an administrative mind of parexcellence. He is General Manager (Operations) Srinagar of prestigious Jammu and Kashmir Road Transport Corporation.
In an exclusive interview with the News Kashmir, he talks to Farzana Mumtaz and Rameez Makhdoomi.
A bit about e bus journey of JKRTC?
Ministry of Heavy Industries had stated this vision with erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir in the year 2018. 40 buses were alloted for Jammu and Kashmir, with 20 plying for Jammu and 20 in Srinagar.
The buses were Commissioned in the year 2019 in the month of June , after tendering and subsequent bagging of the contract by the Tata Motors.
When the vehicles first hit the road and Government provided us with specific routes provided by Honorable chief secretary of that time. We were after sometime hit by maintainence issues. Tata motors were also new in this field of electric buses. The problems were compounded by harsh minus weather of Kashmir. With joint initiatives and research of Tata Motors and JKRTC solving the issues by apt research and thus as of today we in Kashmir have 17 plying buses and only 3 in workshops. These 3 buses will hit the road soon. Tata research team was of great help .
What about the current position of routes ?
As far as the issue of routes are concerned, we have a bus plying to Budgam, Chadoora, Harwan, New Khanda. We also run periodically to areas like Hazratbal and Downtown from time to time as per the need . Although this is small fleet and can’t cater to whole Srinagar city, but the next big thing in this mission we have on mind and for whose DIPR is done , we are hopeful that before coming Financial year starting in March we will get more buses that will cover entire city of Srinagar.
How do you see difficulty of evening transport in Srinagar during winters ?
The evening transport issue is directly monitored by the honorable Divisional Commissioner, and as per need we in evening give Soura, Harwan and chadoora buses. We run not just electric buses but diesel buses.
How much increase we would see in the bus fleet in coming times ?
We have given estimate of providing us at least 450 buses which would greatly augment our fleet and cover entire public transport realms outhere.
How has been feedback?
The occupancy of e buses is always full. There is sometimes criticism and we feel delighted with it and improve upon it. Overall the public feedback opinion is much positive and healthy for us.
Do you have cleaning team for buses ?
Yes we have all the teams in place for cleaning and maintaining the buses .
Any scope for seat quota for females?
We have specific number of seats in every bus for women. We also have been running specific women special buses on different routes .
Do we have modern fleet buses ?
We have all the buses – from electric to diesel all the buses are quite compact and modern. We are running comfortable deluxe buses within districts.
How far is JKRTC emerging from losses of several years ?
Yes it was an issue. From last march due to great and dynamic efforts of Managing Director and as all the employees we are now not running in losses from more than one year. The balance sheet speaks for it .
Your message to commuters ?
My message to commuters is treat all buses as your own property. Keep them neat and clean. If conductor is not giving tickets inform us. We are always open to your suggestions and solve your issues as soon as possible .