Project still highlighted as “achievement” in official document
BUDGAM: After spending more than Rs 3 crore over the last 23 years on the construction of a bus stand in Budgam, the government has finally abandoned the project, saying it was not “feasible”.
Budgam’s Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO), Mubashir Jan, told Kashmir Reader that instead of using the new bus stand, they are going to renovate the old one.
“We can’t regulate transport from the new bus stand as it is a kilometre away from the main market, where all the offices, schools, hospitals are located,” said Jan.
In 1996, the then Farooq Abdullah-led government announced the establishment of a new bus stand within two years to rid the congested Budgam market of traffic jams. However, difficulties in acquiring 41 kanals of land for the project from people in the area resulted in the long delay, according to a document accessed by Kashmir Reader.
Later, it said, the authorities forcibly took procession of 41 kanals of land in 2006, providing compensation to the land owners. So far, the Housing and Urban Development department, which is funding the project, has issued around 85 percent compensation to people whose land was acquired for the bus stand.
The documents, however, said the new bus stand is operational and has “helped” in lessening traffic jams. “Some shops were also established in the New Bus Adda which were allotted to people for establishing their business. They are now running the shops and are earning their livelihood,” the document said while describing the stand as a “good achievement” in the district.
Currently, the Budgam market, from where buses run to various villages and to Srinagar, witnesses massive traffic jams, leaving commuters fuming.
A Bachelors student at Women’s College, Nawa Kadal, Sakeena Bano of Budgam, narrated the traffic horror she has to face every day while commuting from Budgam to Srinagar. According to her, she gets stuck for hours in traffic jams in the market because the roads are quite narrow and congested. “The road is quite narrow, yet vendors have been allowed to occupy the roadsides and footpaths,” Bano complained.
The ARTO, however, blamed the traffic on the park constructed in the middle of the road in the market.