No metro feeder buses available in JNU, auto rides unsafe & precarious
It was a simple and straight route and did not require much time and there was also no need to maneuver congested lanes and unfriendly looks. But instead of taking this straight drive, the auto driver chose to take a longer road through shady lanes amid the full glare of unassuming locals.
It was becoming difficult for the girl to keep her calm and composure as she was gradually growing suspicious about the driver’s intensions and failed to recognise the route which led to her sister’s place.
‘The lanes were very shady. People passing by were giving thumps up to the driver. When I asked him to take me to the main road, he refused and said it would take minutes to reach the main road. I called up the police helpline and after the police official spoke to him, he took me to the main road that was leading to Hauz Khas metro station. When I refused to pay him, he threatened me and even the police official who was on the phone with me and said that it is enough that you are safe. Just pay and leave,’ said the student on condition of anonymity.
Safety has become one of the major concerns for students who commute using auto rickshaws to JNU regularly. Though metro feeder bus service was to be started from various metro stations near the campus in 2013, till now, it exists only in papers. No feeder bus services are available for students.
‘I have not seen any feeder buses at metro stations. I have to generally take an auto rickshaw to get to the campus which costs me around Rs 50. And in the evening, the auto drivers charge as much as Rs 80. DTC buses do ply on this route but the frequency is less and irregular. Moreover, for students living at Poorvanchal hostel or Mahanadi which are located very far off from the main entrance , it is very difficult to commute as there are no autos or buses there. Commuting is a big problem,’ said a post graduate student of the varsity.
Another student of the varsity who is a regular commuter from the metro station to the campus said: ‘There are no metro feeder bus services to the campus. I have to either rely on DTC buses or take auto-rickshaws. And at late evenings, even those are rare. The auto-rickshaws charge exorbitant rates and also, I don’t feel safe travelling alone in an auto.’
Better transport facility for students has been one of the main issues for the JNU administration and also amongst students’ associations who have voiced their concern during the election this year.
JNU Vice-Chancellor SK Sopory said: ‘I wrote to the concerned authorities regarding the feeder bus services but there has been no reply yet from their side. I even met them personally and yet the issue remains unresolved. A lot of JNU students commute from outside the campus and transportation is a big issue. Also, it is not safe for students who have to rely on auto-rickshaws, especially in the night.’
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