Srinagar, Nov 18: After elapsing over five years since the Batamaloo bus stand was shifted to Parimpora, the traders here have termed the decision as dubious and said that the business has suffered a loss of Rs 12,500 crore in the last half a decade.
Abrar Ahmad, President of Batamaloo Traders Association and Chairman of All Traders and Transport Joint Coordination Committee, said that as per a conservative figure, the traders are facing a loss of Rs 2500 crore every year. “The exact figure is very high, but if we provide a conservative figure, the traders have suffered a loss of Rs 12,500 crore in the last five years,” he said.
“Batamaloo is a business hub where 30-35 per cent is wholesale mandi. There are nearly 12000 shopkeepers in the market. One can imagine how much the loss traders are facing due to the dubious decision taken by the erstwhile government in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
“One fails to understand what has been achieved in the past five years. The motives behind the move have not been achieved. Other than shifting the bus stand to Pairmpora, everything that was in the plan then—including road widening, removing street vendors and other things, has not been achieved so far,” he said.
“It is certainly a dubious move as to why it was necessary to drag the High Court into the issue,” he said. President of Batamaloo Traders Association further said that 70-75 per cent jobs have been lost. “A proper survey if conducted can easily bring facts that 1.5 lakh people have lost their jobs,” he said.
“What has been achieved, the passengers coming from South and north Kashmir are being asked to pay double the bus fare, but are not being dropped at the suitable place as per their ease. Batamaloo was an apt place and such a move has landed the people across Kashmir to suffer,” he said.
He added that the people now have opted to travel in their personal vehicles, which has increased the rush on the roads here and thus simultaneously added to their miseries as well.
“A scientific survey is mandatory for making such a big decision. However, unfortunately, no stakeholder was taken on board before taking such a move,” Ahmad said.
Lastly, he said that they have decided to knock on the doors of court again to seek justice and “we are hopeful that the bus stand will be shifted to Batamaloo again.” He also thanked the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Ravinder Sharma for their personal intervention into the matter. “With their intervention, we are hopeful that the decision will be revoked shortly,” he said.