Trauma for STS commuters in Middle Andaman

Report by: 
V SENTHIL KUMAR
Port Blair
19 Sep 2017

An ageing fleet of STS buses has been taking a toll on residents in different parts of these islands for long. Majority of the buses owned and operated by the transport department and deployed in different routes remain under constant repairs forcing commuters to face untold hardships. But for travellers in the Middle Andaman region, the situation has become even grimmer this monsoon season.
For daily commuters in the Rangat-Kadamtala sector, travelling in STS buses during rains is nothing short of cringe-worthy. The broken window panes, holes and cracks in the roof and worst, rusted windows has made commuting during rainy season a nightmare for residents here. Incidents of people keeping their umbrellas open inside the bus to save themselves from leaking roof, broken windows or carrying plastic bags to save themselves from water-soaked seats have now become common. Not just that, buses breaking down during monsoon have become the order of the day as majority of the buses are old and are not serviced regularly.
“The STS buses deployed in the Rangat-Kadamtala sector here seldom cleaned while repair of broken seats, broken windshields and windows remain far from ensured. If complained, conductors and drivers are rude enough to ask the commuters to get down. The schedule STS bus from Rangat to Kadamtala is availed by many daily commuters who travel places for work. But, the authorities care two hoots to the commuters' woes. In the past few days, heavy rains caused considerable hardships to passengers, who were seen sitting with open umbrellas inside the bus to prevent themselves from getting drenched. The STS department should take prompt steps to address the problems in the interest of commuters here,” said some Kadamtala residents.