Srinagar: The Kashmir Motors Drivers Association (KMDA) Saturday questioned the absence of a transport policy in the state.
Addressing a press conference here, Chairman of the Association, Mohammad Yasin Khan, accused the successive governments of failing to introduce the policy, the absence of which is “causing grave economic losses to the transporters.”
“The state has ignored transporters and is pushing them to the wall by not having a proper transport policy,” he said.
“The government is ruining our lives. We demand revival of the transport sector,” he added.
Many drivers, as per Khan, lost their vehicles to the state’s policy of condemning the aged busses. He said the government should “rehabilitate them by offering low-interest loans for purchase of new vehicles.”
The Association demanded that the bus stand at Pantha Chowk should be shifted to Batmaloo here.
“We used to run 275 to 300 buses to south Kashmir, but that number reduced to 5 to 10 after we were shifted from Batmaloo to Pantha Chowk,” KMDA’s General Secretary, Mohammad Yousuf, said.
“It has had a huge impact on our livelihood. We are suffering,” he added, stating that the bus stand is located in violation of the J&K Motor Vehicles Act 1991.
“Before granting a place for the bus stand, the transport commissioner has to see the suitability of the site from traffic control point of view and in relation to the other stands. The location of this stand is neither feasible for traffic control nor suitable in relation to the other stands” Yousuf said.
The Association said it should be provided compensation against its Lal Chowk stand that was taken by the state.
“The government is victimizing us by denying us the compensation,” the office bearers of the association said.
Blaming the government for traffic jams, they said the no new route permits should be issued.
“The government has made it clear that no permit would be issued except in Ladakh and to need-based cases. But more than 10,000 permits have been issued since the order was issued in 2001,” they added.