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Saturday, May 18, 2024

J&K: First passenger bus reaches far flung village Gattu; locals garland driver & helper on arrival


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Jammu: The driver and his helper were garlanded on their arrival and the villagers were clicking selfies with them as the first passenger bus reached the far flung village Gattu of Panchayat Dholka in more than seven decades in Bani tehsil of Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.

As public transport was a distant dream to remote village Gattu, the last village in Bani Tehsil due to ‘kachha road’ but the connectivity under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), gave ray of hope to natives of the village by having smooth travel outside the village and cherish their dreams.

The residents of village Gattu, some 40 kilometres from Bani town on Saturday welcomed the driver and his helper with garlands when the first passenger bus reached their doorstep spreading smiles across.

“Earlier due to poor connectivity, no passenger bus was operating on this route but after construction and black-topping under PMGSY, first bus reached the village,” Satish Sharma, Sub-District Magistrate (SDM) Bani told UNI.

He said that the bus service has started from Kathua to Guttu for the villagers, adding, “both driver and his helper were garlanded on arrival.”

“After independence, first time the passenger bus reached the village. Entire government machinery worked effortlessly to provide connectivity to the village,” he stated.

The SDM added that the bus service started will now be a regular feature and operate on the route as per fixed schedule.

Meanwhile a local Panchayat representative said that the bus service will not only benefit the villagers of Roulka, Dholka and Gattu but also several nearby panchayats.

The locals also expressed gratitude to the SDM, local sarpanch and other officials for fulfilling their demand.

The bus service will connect far flung areas with the district headquarters. It will leave from Roulka at 8.30 am and leave for Guttu from Bani at 2 pm. This bus will reach Roulka via Bani and Barmota.

Earlier people had to reach Bani by private vehicles but direct bus service will also open avenues of development in the area, the locals said.

As bus to Doulka also started last month, the new bus service to village Gattu will benefit the population of around 20,000 people living in adjoining villages of Asso, Barmota, Roulka, Dholka, Dandi Guttu, adding, “children faced lot of hardship in reaching Kathua for studies but this bus service has relieved them a lot.”

“Bani is developing very fast and the government is focussing on road connectivity, infrastructure and other facilities to flourish this region having a rich tourism potential,” said an official.

“As first bus service has already started to the remote belt and in coming days, more public transport will reach to all remotest areas of the district as blacktopping of road and connectivity work is already in progress in many parts,” he stated.

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