Truckers park vehicles on roadsides affecting traffic and trade
SRINAGAR: The shifting of bus stand to Parimpora has left the Parimpora fruit mandi, one of the largest in Kashmir, without a truck terminal leaving trucks with no space to park.
Consequently, truckers are parking their vehicles on the roadside, blocking smooth traffic flow on the Parimpora-Pantha Chowk highway. Trucks are also getting parked in Bemina interiors.
Nearly 200 trucks enter Parimpora Mandi every day in winters, while in summers the numbers cross a thousand.
On Wednesday, truckers were jostling for space to park in the mandi so they could empty or load their cargo, thus hampering overall business in the area.
President New Kashmir Fruit Association Bashir Ahmad said the trucks parked on the roadsides in the mandi or on the highway become a hurdle to smooth traffic flow as well as business.
“Truckers park their vehicles on the highway. We desperately need a truck terminal as the trucks parked in the yard create barriers in the smooth running of business. Earlier, truck drivers from various mandis used to park their vehicles and stay overnight where the general bus stand is nowadays,” he told Kashmir Reader.
However, after the Batamaloo bus yard was shifted to Parimpora last year, truckers have no place for their vehicles except on the roads.
“We face a lot of difficulties here without a truck terminal. We don’t know when the government will construct a truck terminal. It is desperately needed here,” said Ishfaq Ahmed, owner of a private transport corporation.
The mandi has 300 shops with an equal number of storage sheds. In 2015, according to traders, the government had announced plans to modernise the mandi by constructing a truck terminal, apart from other facilities. But, traders say, the promise has not been fulfilled so far.
In the winter cold, with no truck terminal in place, drivers have to spend the night in their vehicles as overnight rooms are not available in the mandi.
“There is no guesthouse here. We are left with no other option but to spend days and nights in the trucks, either in the congested yard or on roads,” said Sajad Ahmed, a driver who transports fruits to other states.