The decision to shift the Batamaloo General Bus Stand terminal was taken on July 1 last year in a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr. Asgar Samoon. The Srinagar Development Authority has already acquired 100 kanals of land at transport yard Parimpora for the bus stand. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on December 19, 2015 had directed the Government to expedite the process to shift the General Bus Stand Batamaloo and remove encroachments from roads and footpaths— to ensure smooth vehicular movement.
Presence of the Bus Stand hampers vehicular movement in the congested area. The problem is compounded by dozens of motor mechanic shops and hundreds of vendors who have occupied a large chunk of land near the Bus Stand.
Javaid Ahmad, a motorist stranded in the traffic jam near Doodhganga Road said plying of buses, small passenger vehicles such as Tata Sumos and private vehicles creates a gridlock at Batamaloo. "I travel between Qamarwari and Lal Chowk daily and traffic jams at Batamaloo have assumed horrendous dimensions," Javaid said.
Nisar Ahmad, a travel agent at the Syed Meerakshah Passenger Bus Stand said the proposal to shift the stand to Parimpora is gathering dust. "Dozens of damaged garbage dumpers are lying in the premises of a shopping complex while open manholes are posing threat to pedestrians and motorists, he said.
"With each passing day Batamaloo is becoming a jam packed area. Heavy traffic to and fro Sopore, Baramulla, Magam, Kupwara, Handwara blocks all the entry and exit points into Batamaloo causing huge traffic jams. Three Sumo stands add to the chaos," Ahmad said.
Notwithstanding the haphazard traffic situation in and around the Batamaloo bus stand, transporters oppose shifting the bus stand to Parimpora.
Ghulam Rasool , General Secretary Western Bus Stand said "vulnerability to floods makes Parimpora an inappropriate location for the new bus stand."
"Before shifting the bus stand to Parimpora, the government should construct a drainage system at the new bus terminal," he said.
Meanwhile, the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) to which the land at Parimpora bus terminal belongs, said it will soon start first phase of shifting of the bus terminal.
"Road connectivity of the Parimpora Terminal to the main bypass road is in the pipeline. Black topping of the terminal has been completed. Deputy Commissioner is assigning tasks of removing the sheds that were damaged during the floods," a senior official of SDA said