Srinagar, July 20: To protest Government’s decision of shifting General Bus Stand Batamaloo to Parimpora on city outskirts, transporters today went on strike and did not ply their buses on inter-district routes, resulting in massive inconvenience to the commuters.
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The strike was called by Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association (KTWA) – an apex body of Valley transporters – to protest Government’s decision of shifting the General Bus Stand Batamaloo to Parimpora by August 1. All the passenger buses to and fro Batamaloo did not ply today on any inter-district route. The mini-buses on several routes were also missing.
While small passenger cabs on all routes were plying normally, the Government State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) vehicles were plying on inter-district routes for the convenience of the commuters. However, the SRTC buses could not give much relief to the commuters as the number of buses was low. The shopkeepers of Batamaloo also observed the strike to protest the shifting of the General Bus Stand as they say it will affect their livelihood.
The transporters held a peaceful sit-in to protest Government decision and demanded that it should be cancelled for their larger benefit and convenience of commuters. Speaking to reporters, Manager of Batamaloo Bus Stand, Muhammad Sultan Dar said that today’s strike is to protest “snatching of our livelihood as the Government is mulling to shift Batamaloo Bus Stand”.
“We have been fighting from many years to stop Government from shifting this General Bus Stand with which lots of areas, hospital, college and courts are attached but Government is unmoved and it has decided to shift to Parimpora on first date. But we won’t shift. Our children are attached to this stand. We have never sought anything from the Government. We have never demanded any job because our children are attached to this Bus Stand,” he said.