Jaffna bus service reduced due to lack of spares

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 March 2007, 10:28 GMT]
Ceylon Transport Board (CTB), the only public transport means in Jaffna peninsula, will soon grind to a halt as spares and other essentials have ceased to reach Jaffna since the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) closed the A9 land route to the peninsula in August 2006, transportation officials in Jaffna said, Friday.

Only 63 buses of the usual fleet of 137 are able to function and at least 400 tyres are immediately needed besides essentials like oil, tubes and spare parts.

Even though the number of hours of already limited CTB bus service in the peninsula is curtailed, with all services terminating at 4:30 p.m, the three bus depots in the peninsula located at Kondavil, Karainagar and Point Pedro face the danger of stopping all their bus services soon, due to the acute shortage of essential spares, the officials of the depots said.

A shipment of 63 re-built tyres have been recently sent to Jaffna, an inadequate quantity to be used for the 63 buses in running condition. Spring blades and batteries too were sent with the tyres but these spares still lie at the Kankesanthurai harbour for want of vehicles to transport them to the depots, CTB officials said.

Though requests for spares were conveyed to the Colombo CTB higher authorities, constructive remedial action is yet to be taken, they added.

Former Minister of Transport, A. H. M. Fowsi, who had made promises to attend to the urgent requirements of the Jaffna peninsula CTB, too had failed to keep his word, civil society sources said.


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