‘Even J&K bank will run into losses’
Srinagar: Police on Wednesday foiled a march to Civil Secretariat by Batamaloo Traders Coordination Committee to protest the shifting of general bus stand to Parimpora.
Dozens of traders and transporters assembled at the press enclave on Residency Road carrying placards and shouting slogans against the move. The protesters then tried to move towards the civil secretariat but police swung into action and cane charged the protesters to disperse them near the clock tower in Lal Chowk. At least a dozen of people were detained and were lodged in Kothibagh police station.
The protesting committee members termed the government’s decision as “conspiracy” against the Batamaloo area. They said that rather than shifting the bus stand to Parimpora, the government should develop the Batamaloo bus stand area that has been seized by the Srinagar Development Authority with the backing of state police.
Abrar Khan, Chairman Batamaloo Traders Coordination Committee told Kashmir Reader that in spite of spending crores of rupees on developing the infrastructure at Parimpora, the government should invest few crores in Batamaloo in order to develop it. “The decision of the relocation is complete wastage of time and money. How much will it cost to construct infrastructure for everyone who is protesting?” he asked.
Khan claimed that traders of Batamaloo generate highest revenue to the state exchequer by paying the taxes. “If you look at the tax figures in sales tax office, you will find that G zone (Batamallo) is the highest tax payer. If government relocates the bus stand it will affect the economy of the state as well,” Khan said.
Another trader told Kashmir Reader that they did not elect the government to make them starve when traders invested sweat and blood in developing the commercial hub of the Valley. “We have sold our properties to purchase shops from SDA when they said that these shops were located in and around the general bus stand. Some of us even have to adjust the loans to Jammu and Kashmir Bank at high interest rates,” he said.
He said that any such move which would impact the livelihoods of the traders will have equal and opposite reaction. “The Jammu and Kashmir Bank would run in loss because we won’t be able to pay loan installments. This will result in bank’s bankruptcy,” he said.