Public transport crisis looming in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 October 2008, 16:32 GMT]
Shortage of tires and spares for buses operated by Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) in the North has reached a critical situation and may soon cripple transport services in the peninsula, officials of SLTB Koa'ndaavil bus depot said Friday. Sri Lanka government authorities’ delay in supplying the necessary spares in time is said to be the reason for the situation, they added.

Only four of the twenty buses in Point Pedro SLTB depot are in running condition due to worn-out tires.

The government and the SLTB Colombo Head Office had not heeded the repeated requests for tires and other spares.

The last consignment of tires, received after several administrative delays, was found to be used ones, re-built and not new tires.

Nearly 60% of the bus service in the peninsula is run by SLTB while the rest is operated by private buses.

School bus services maintained by SLTB have also been affected by the shortage of tires and spares.

Since the closure of A9 land route since August 11, 2006, SLTB services in Jaffna peninsula has steadily deteriorated due to shortage of fuel and due to shortage of funds for routine maintenance.

SLTB in Jaffna owes millions of rupees to Sri Lanka Petroleum Corporation as its bus services are being run at a loss.

SLTB officials face problems even in paying their employees due to lack of funds.

If this situation continues SLTB bus services in Jaffna peninsula may ground to a complete halt, civil society sources in the peninsula warned.

 

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