Transporters call for Valley wide strike
Srinagar: Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association has called for a strike on Friday across Kashmir to protest the shifting of General Bus Stand from Batamaloo to Parimpora on Srinagar outskirts.
Transporters, and various trade associations in Batamaloo, find the government’s decision averse to their business interests. Many claim that livelihoods of low-income people engaged in small businesses around the Batamaloo bus stand will be lost.
Speaking with the Kashmir Reader, chairman of Kashmir Motor-Drivers’ Association, Abdul Qayoom Wani, said, “In 2005 government ordered to shift KMD bus stand to Pantha Chowk and the idea failed. So this move will fail too because they will create lot of problems for everyone.”
He further said that shifting the bus stand will lead to loss of hundreds of livelihoods. Shopkeepers and drivers, he said, would be adversely affected. “This bus stand is a connecting point for people from far flung areas in the city. Disconnect this link, it would create problems for them.”
Ajaz Ahmad Phalgooru, a dealer in electronic items at the Batamaloo bus stand said that he supported transporters in their cause. “We are against the decision. Who will come to purchase products from us when there is no rush around here?”
Relocating the bus stand, Malik says, would “obviously” affect their business, as people would prefer to purchase goods around the place they board their buses in Parimpora.
Abdul Rouf Zargar, a trade association president in Batamaloo said, “The decision would not only affect transporters, but shopkeepers as well. Why would a customer pay double the fair to buy items from us? We fear we will lose our regular customers.” Shopkeepers in Batamaloo had also shuttered down their business establishments.