After authorities on Wednesday evening failed to seal the Batmaloo bus stand as the transporters and businessmen present inside the premises prevented them from doing so, the officials of the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), tried to take over the stand on Thursday which was once again resented by the traders and the transporters.
Sources informed that the SDA officials came in the late hours of the Wednesday and tried to seal the bus stand but the transporters and businessmen present inside the premises prevented them doing so.
“They came at around 10PM in the evening and tried to seal the bus stand but few workers who were there for a night stay prevented them doing so,” an official of the Batmaloo bus stand said.
Meanwhile, during the protests the police prevented the protesters to block the main road which led to the altercation between the police and workers. Sources said that four protesters received minor injuries during the police action.
Pertinently, the official alleged that the Parimpora premises lack basic facilities and all the vehicles from the Batamaloo Bus Stand cannot be shifted at once as the officials of SDA want.
“They are trying to shift us to a place where there is not even a bathroom or a single building,” said Bilal Ahmad, General Secretary of the Western Bus Service.
The transporters at Bus stand alleged that the designated bus stand at Parimpora is a flood prone area.
“Even a few hours of rain creates flood like the situation at the place,” official said.
Around eight hundred passenger buses run from the Bus stand Batmaloo and the transporters fear that shifting the bus stand will render not only them jobless but most of the workers who work in the vicinity of the bus stand.
The decision to shift the Batamaloo General Bus Stand was taken on July 1 in 2015 in a meeting chaired by then Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr. Asgar Samoon. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on December 19, 2015 had directed the Government to expedite the process to shift the General Bus Stand Batamaloo and remove encroachment from roads and footpaths to ensure smooth vehicular movement.
Last week, Jammu and Kashmir High Court division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey ordered Vice Chairman (VC) Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) to ensure that the Batamaloo Bus stand is sealed.
The directions came after RTO Kashmir, who was present, told the court that as of now notified Bus Stand under Motor Vehicles Act is located at Parimpora and not at Batamaloo.
“If the Bus stand is still operational at Batamaloo, it is illegal,” the court observed.