Don’t issue orders detrimental to transport sector, KEA tells govt

SRINAGAR: A faction of the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) on Wednesday asked the government to refrain from issuing orders that are “detrimental” to the transport sector in Kashmir Valley.
In a release issued here, Chairman of the faction, Yasin Khan, said the government should implement the High Court’s order for constituting a committee to recommend enhancement of the life span of commercial vehicles that are more than 25 years old.
“This order was issued following a petition by the valley transporters to reconsider the judgement in view of the lesser distance covered by the valley-based commercial vehicles.
“The government had been directed to relocate Batmaloo and Jammu bus stands suitably and ensure decongestion of vehicular traffic,” he said.
Khan said the orders were not “carried out in totality” and only the KMDA, which operates services to South Kashmir, was relocated to Pantha Chowk.
“This was a miserable relocation. The stand lacks passenger facilities and parking bays. The Chowk is congested and causes traffic jams of immense nature,” he said. “Jammu bus stand remains unmoved and Batmaloo bus stand is presently catering to north of the valley from the same location.”
Commuting to Pantha Chowk, he said, is both “expensive and time consuming” for people travelling to south Kashmir, forcing them to prefer Sumo service.
“Sumos operate from all parts of Srinagar. It takes at least four to five Sumos to carry a busload of passengers, thereby causing huge traffic congestion within the city,” he said.
The KEA chairman said the state government is contemplating relocation of Batmaloo bus stand as well.
It, he said, will cause more traffic “congestion and chaos”.
“Government should acquire suitable and large piece of land conveniently located for daily commuters, and set up a modern bus terminal with adequate parking bays. KEA would be willing to assist the authorities in selecting the location for…,” he said.
Khan said KEA is of “firm belief” that all the directives of the government have so far “resulted in shattering the already-ailing transport sector and bringing its commercial activities to a virtual standstill”.
For its revival, all urgent steps are required, he said.
“Immediate rescue would entail getting the southern bus stand back to Batmaloo till a suitable alternate general bus stand is created with all the requisite facilities envisaged under MVA,” he said.