Dimapur, Sept 18: The Nagaland government has introduced city bus services exclusively for women commuters in Dimapur and Kohima to facilitate their travel and ensure their safety.
The buses, named ‘Pink buses’, hit the roads on Tuesday. This is for the first time and perhaps in the entire northeast that the city bus services exclusively for women commuters have been introduced.
The Nagaland state transport department also resumed the normal city bus services for the general public in the commercial hub Dimapur and the state capital Kohima after a gap of around 15 years.
Nagaland minister for transport and civil aviation P. Paiwang Konyak flagged off the buses in Nagaland State Transport department office here on Monday.
Konyak told media persons after the flagging off ceremony that though there were no instances of molestation of women, rape in city buses in the state in the past, the city bus services exclusively for women were introduced to facilitate and support their travel and not with an aim earn revenue.
Two ‘pink buses’ each for Dimapur and Kohima have been provided for now, he stated.
The minister said there will be male drivers and conductors for the pink buses for now but if women are ready to take up the job, the department will employ female drivers and conductors in future.
Konyak said the people should take the responsibility for the success of the city bus services which were earlier discontinued.
While the four pink buses are brand new, the five normal city buses were among the 14 condemned Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) buses that were lying unused with the state urban development department. The transport department took these buses from the urban development department and refurbished five of them for use. The remaining nine buses will also be repaired and kept as backup, the minister said.
He said the five city buses will be run on a trial basis initially and if they are commercially viable, more would be provided.
Konyak appealed to the citizens to monitor malpractices committed by the commuters as well as officials of the transport department so that stern action could be initiated against the guilty.
He also informed that the city bus services will be free for the senior citizens and the differently-abled.
Konyak further stated that that Nagaland state transport department bus services were social in nature as it concentrates in areas where private operators were unable to reach.