Police foil march to CM’s residence
SRINAGAR: Police on Saturday foiled a march to chief minister’s residence by All Traders Joint Coordination Committee, an amalgam trade bodies and transporters in Batamaloo, to protest the shifting of general bus stand to Parimpora.
Dozens of members of the association assembled inside the press enclave carrying placards, and shouted slogans opposing the move. Mohammad Yasin, spokesperson of the coordination committee, termed government’s decision as “conspiracy”.
“We believe that it is a well hatched conspiracy against the people of Batamaloo. Lakhs of people would be affected if the bus stand is relocated because traders, salesmen and transporters are dependent on the consumers from the rural areas,” Yaseen said.
Yasin said that traders fail to understand government’s policy claiming to remove unemployment in the Valley. “The promise of removing unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir is false and shifting of the bus stand is evidence to it.”
“The government is doing nothing. Everything the government says is a lie and the truth is they are here for the growth of unemployment. On one hand they promise jobs while on the other they are hell-bent to snatch the livelihood of lakhs of people.”
The protesters said that government was deceiving them with the promise of rehabilitation. They also questioned the government over the timeline for constructing buildings to accommodate over 5500 traders.
“We told them that it takes several months to construct three rooms and constructing (shopping) complexes for us will take years,” another trader said. “Several traders have submitted huge (amounts of) money twenty years ago for rehabilitation but they are yet to be relocated,” another protester said.
Responding to the question about the response of the government to committee’s suggestions, Yasin said: “Government did not respond.
There has been an order to relocate forces from Tatto Ground and we had suggested them to allot 200-300 kanals of land for the modification of the bus stand, but it seems that they don’t bother to address our concerns and suggestions.”
Traders and transporters are on strike since September 5 when Srinagar Development Authority accompanied by state police seized the land following a High Court order.
Transporters have been saying that 57 kanals of land available at Parimpora is “not enough” for a general bus stand because it cannot accommodate the fleet of 8000 vehicles. According to the SDA letter (SDA/VC/PS282-91) issued on July 20, only 280 vehicles – 80 buses (52 seater), 80 mini-buses, 80 cabs and 40 three wheelers – can be accommodated at the new bus stand.