Shopian: Notwithstanding its tall claims, the Shopian administration has failed to make the Batpora bus stand operational, despite 10 years having elapsed since its completion.
Executive officer Muncipal Committee, Shopian, Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar told Kashmir Reader that their job was to provide infrastructure, and it was up to the district administration to make the new stand operational. “We spent huge money to build this bus stand, but it is true that the stand is useless. Transport Commissioner, Kashmir, has given approval to shift all Sumo stands to Batpora bus stand,” he said.
Dar added that the stand is now under the Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO), Shopian, who manages the district’s traffic system. “I will contact ARTO, Shopian, again regarding this issue,” he added.
There are at least eight Sumo stands in Batpora, operating their services on main roads or outside the main town.
Mubashir Ahmad Bhat, who travels from Chitragam to Shopian daily, said that the Sumo stand in Bonbazar area of Shopian is outside the main town, which makes them have to walk two kilometres to reach the main market. He demands that the Bonbazar Sumo stand be transferred to the Batpora bus stand.
Several Sumo stands, like the ones near Goal Chowk, Four Way and Hirpora Sumo Stand, were running their services from the main roads, resulting in frequent traffic jams in the town.
Trouble in parking vehicles has become the order of the day in main town Shopian, which not only results in heavy traffic jams but is a headache to commuters.
Muhammad Adnan, a resident of main town Shopian, said that all Sumo stands should be transferred to the Batpora bus stand. “These cab stands have made a mess with traffic in Shopian. They always park their vehicles on main roads, which results in logjams,” he said while demanding strict action against the law violators.
Worse, drivers of heavy motor vehicles like trucks park on road sides near Shopian Mandi, causing enormous traffic congestion. “It is the start of the Mandi season, and these drivers with heavy trucks occupy the Shopian-Srinagar road and leave no space for other vehicles,” Jahangir Ahmad Pandith, a resident, said.
ARTO, Shopian, Abdul Majid told Kashmir Reader that all Sumo stands would be transferred to the Batpora bus stand within a couple of weeks. “We have cancelled licenses of two cab stands that refused to make their operations from Batpora bus stand. Strict action will be taken against law violators,” he said.
He added that for making traffic management better in Shopian, his department needed the support of the general public. “Some people were taking advantage of the (2016) unrest, due to which we sometimes were not able to curb people parking their vehicles on roads,” he said, while advising people to support his department in maintaining better traffic movement in the district.
On the traffic jam near Shopian Mandi, Abdul Majid said that they had recently started a drive to curb those who were hell-bent on causing traffic chaos. “We recently fined around Rs 21,000 from drivers parked on roads in the Mandi area. Strict action will be taken if any one tries to break the law,” he promised.
For the parking of those trucks, the Shopian administration has given them the huge area of the new Mandi.