SRINAGAR: Striking transporters called off their month long strike on Saturday, and began their operations from the newly designated general bus stand at Parimpora.
The decision of revoking the strike was taken by various transport associations on Friday evening in the wake of final High Court a few days back.
Buses and mini-buses arrived at the 52 kanal stretch early in the morning. The residents of Parimpora, especially those who purchased shops constructed during 2016 uprising, wore smile on their faces. They (Shopkeepers) distributed sweets and served Kehwa to transporters and commuters who were present inside the bus stand.
One of the shopkeepers who served Kehwa to the people said that he had purchased two shops worth 40 lakhs. “Until this moment I was worried what to do if the order of shifting bus stand to Parimpora was revoked. Today when I saw buses arriving here I won’t be able explain how happy I was to see the scene. This moment is no less than the Eid,” he said.
Commuters, however, seemed unimpressed with the decision stating the move will add to the hassles. They gossiped in the buses while travelling to the city center Lal-Chowk and termed Parimpora bus stand against the interest of common people and said that it will prove out to be a disaster.
“Batamaloo bus stand was close to vital places, be it the secretariat, hospital or any other thing. To reach Batamaloo I now have spend additional 10 rupees,” Mohammad Amin, a commuter from Baramulla told Kashmir Reader.
Aijaz Ahmad Phalgaroo, another commuter, said that relocating the bus stand would not solve the traffic mess in the city. He said that the road at Parimpora is not as wide as the one in Batamaloo. “Leave aside whether this piece of land is worth calling a bus stand, the group of the people standing on the road may not be more than twenty. They are waiting for the buses and more than half of the road is blocked. This will surely add massive conjunction on Srinagar-Baramulla highway,” he said.
One of the senior members of the transporter association on the condition of anonymity told Kashmir Reader on telephone that they had no option but to call off the strike after High Court issued its verdict. “Apart from the verdict by Honorable High Court transporters were suffering financial losses,” he said.
He said that transporters as well as commuters are facing various difficulties as there are no proper arrangements made for transport office bearers and the common people. “We are operating under an open sky and commuters too are facing difficulties because there are just a few passenger sheds,” he said.
Apparently, in last one month transporters have suffered losses worth 4 crore rupees at an average of Rs 45000 in month per bus excluding insurances and road tax. Western Bus Union (WBU) operates 630 and Kashmir Motors Driver (KMD) 230 buses (52 seats) across the Valley.
A local vendor in Batamaloo told Kashmir Reader that he will miss the charm that was created by the bus stand in Batamaloo.
“I have many memories related with the bus stand. The rush outside it helped me to earn few hundred rupees a day to feed my family. I now have to look for other options to earn my livelihood,” he said.