New ride for old journey
More than seven thousand students study in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which is counted one among the top hundred universities of the world.
Yet travelling to the campus was a herculean task until last week when two metro feeder buses were flagged off for the varsity. After an indefinite hunger strike and long years of hope, the transportation problem of JNU students finally came to an end to some extent.
Students on the campus are happy with the recently-launched metro feeder service as something is better than nothing. Agnitra Ghosh, a PhD student of school of arts and aesthetic and a student union councilor of JNU says, “I live in hoste and whenever I have to go to Civil Lines for my archival work, I need to board metro from Hauz Khas Metro Station. An autowallah usually charges no less than Rs 40-50 for the distance. The fare of the feeder is much less and the journey is convenient. But it should be more frequent because the frequency is less. One has to wait at least for 35 minutes.”
Frequency of the bus is an issue and so is its long route – Poorvanchal Hostel- JNU North Gate- Ber Sarai- IIT Gate- Hauz Khas- Green Park- AIIMS- INA Market- Safdarjung Airport Terminal.
“Undoubtedly we are saving Rs 30-40 in one go but it consumes a lot of time. Especially during the peak hours, the feeder often gets stuck in traffic and thus we are not able to make it to our destination in time,” shares Rahul Singh, a student of MA in Sociology.
For girls, the timing of the feeder are ‘weird’ as the last bus plies at 9.30pm. “If Metro functions till 11 then why does metro feeder bus take the last round at 9.30?” questions Shweta, a hostler. “On my way back to the hostel from Hauz Khas Metro Station (which is four kilometers away from JNU), I inquired the bus driver if it will go inside JNU and he refused stating that he doesn’t get sawari from there. Just then the other feeder arrived and both the drivers had a verbal brawl. When I asked the other driver if the bus will go inside JNU, after thinking for a while, he said ‘yes’.”
While waiting for the bus to get packed to the capacity, Shekhar Singh, conductor of one of the two vehicles shares with Metrolife, “If more people board the bus then we can easily reduce the time duration to 17-18 minutes but at present, we have to wait for passengers as not many are availing the facility.”
Ask him if all are students of JNU and he clarifies, “Not at all, in fact only 6-7 from the lot are for the campus. Rest are all who want to go to Ber Sarai and Katwaria Sarai. I feel that JNU students are not yet aware about this feeder bus.” We wonder if that is true?