Pangs of VVIP visit: CMs launch bus service in Jalandhar, common man suffers : The Tribune India

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Pangs of VVIP visit: CMs launch bus service in Jalandhar, common man suffers

Passengers made to wait in scorching heat as plying of buses stalled for over an hour

Pangs of VVIP visit: CMs launch bus service in Jalandhar, common man suffers

Harassed passengers wait for their buses at the Jalandhar bus stand on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Sarabjit Singh



Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 15

Passengers at the Jalandhar bus stand on Wednesday faced a lot of inconvenience as they could not catch a bus for more than an hour owing to the visit of Punjab and Delhi CMs for the launch of two buses to IGI Airport this afternoon.

Though the shops in the periphery of the bus stand had been shut, the liquor shops were allowed to function normally.

Since both AAP CMs ,Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann, were to arrive at bus stand around 1.15 pm, the entry and exit of buses remained curtailed for nearly an hour. There was no bus at the bus stand after 12:15 pm. Several men, women and children kept on waiting for the buses to arrive so as to start their journey to their destinations. They were seen running around with their luggage on the platform trying to gather information regarding availability of the bus.

Though the shops in the periphery of the bus stand had been shut, the liquor shops were allowed to function normally.

While the weather remained very hot, even the shops at the bus stand selling packaged drinking water, cold drinks, tea and other eatables too remained closed adding to their woes. Said Jasmine, a collegiate, who was to go to back to her place in Amritsar after her examination today: “My precious one hour in exam days got wasted as I could not get a bus till 2 pm. I had rushed to bus stand right after my exam got over so as to reach back home quickly and start preparation for my next exam day after. The bigger issue was that I was not able to get any refreshment till the time I had to wait.”

Sarita Verma, who was to catch a bus to Mohali with her two kids, said: “I had not read today’s newspapers and was not aware of the VVIP visit. Had I known it, I would have started early today or shelved off the plan till tomorrow.”

The shopkeepers, too, said they had been waiting for the programme to get over so as to be able to lift their shutters and start their day’s earnings. “Yesterday, they made us close the backside of our shops and today they told us to shut shops completely. I cannot understand what damage would we have done to the programme,” said a tea seller.

Interestingly, even the shops in the periphery of the bus stand had been shut today, but the liquor shops were allowed to function normally. The grocery owners and market associations condemned the special relaxation given to the liquor shops upon the visit of the VVIPs.

‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogans on walls

Hours ahead of the flagging off of the bus this afternoon, the walls of two flyovers near Devi Talab Mandir had the words ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ scribbled. The local police went into tizzy and immediately used a black paint to make the slogan illegible. Soon after, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of Sikhs for Justice released a video referring to the scribbled slogan in the ‘Hindu-dominated’ area of Jalandhar.

Good response to volvo buses on Day 1

The first bus that was flagged off by Delhi and Punjab CMs on Wednesday had 41 out of 44 seats occupied. The second one had about 28 passengers. The third that went off at around 8:50 pm had less than 20 passengers. Since this is not the season when the NRIs come home or move back, the Transport Department is likely to face certain viability issues in the initial few months.

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