A Dream Come True

We can contribute to public good provided we shun our ego

Mohammad Jalal-ud-Din
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 25 2018 9:49PM | Updated Date: Sep 25 2018 9:49PM
A Dream Come TrueRepresentational Pic

Dreams are auspicious or ominous. Persons, corporates and bodies dream. All dreams do not fail maturity  to materialise. As dreamers matter for the sanctity of the dreams, people  on whom these  come true  are no less important for they are  either to enjoy or suffer, sooner or later, momentarily or perpetually, physically or psychologically, economically or socially. Dreamers are achievers too. Dreams entail danger or development  so turn to haunt as nightmares or embrace as pleasures. Fortunate is the lot that witnesses the latter. Shifting of General Bus Stand Batamaloo is one such a dream come true. In line with the thence new concept of General Bus Stand wherefrom public transport would ply to all districts headquarters/routes as a single line  transportation, the Western Bus Stand at Batalamoo, with the shifting and merger of the erstwhile Eastern Bus Stand at Amirakadal  with it became General Bus Stand Batamaloo. The people at large enjoyed  the quicker and the cheaper connectivity with ease till the idea of shifting the GBS Batamaloo in some minds  found expression and began to fructify. Although  decades  old proposal  matured its new site at Parimpora it  looks a little celebration for the general public  unlike relocating of two   main offices of Hon’ble High Court  of J & K  and the Principal District  & Sessions Judge Srinagar at  Diwan Bagh  Srinagar  near Legislative Assembly and Mominabad Batamaloo respectively positives of which prima-facie soothe the viewer. 

These  wisely devised better alternatives have really facilitated accommodation to the  honourable legal fraternity, clientele, easy & quick access providing a serene atmosphere to honourable judiciary & judicature to carry on with  duties/rights and responsibilities required of their job profile. The third big move in the name of  decongesting  civil lines area from  GBS Batamaloo has proved to be  unlike  of the earlier two moves . May be a default planning unlike General Bus Stand Jammu which, though shouldering 50 percent more traffic than GBS. Batamaloo, is functioning undisturbed at its original place in the centre  of the Jammu city for decades now. 

Reasons  weighing for shifting may  not be contestable before government, the new change-over has, however, invited genuine comments as a remonstration from the public on the results registering as a  part of history. The new choice fails in comparison to the old one  on many counts. As per  information the new bus stand comprises of some 57 kanals of land capable of accommodating 288 buses whereas the old one  spreading over some 104 kanals of land was enough to  accommodate  2280 vehicles. With the already functional SRTC Yard, Board of Inspection Office of office of the Regional Transport Office Srinagar, Fruit & Vegetable mandis, food Godowns,  local residency etc, in juxtaposition with the  New  General  Bus  Stand the move appears  to be  neither better nor as good as the previous place and is felt to  be running down from good  to  bad only. The new general bus stand lacks in facilities like Ticket counters, Drivers’ Room, Passengers’ Shed, Transport Office, Toilets, Wash Rooms, Drinking water, etc. It is also held that being comparatively in a low lying area with no proper, complete drainage & sewerage system, with limited passage for ingress & egress movements for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic the new destination has unfolded similar issues we tried to get rid of. The multiplicity of hawkers, roadside dealers, pedlars as a natural resultant has further effected the functioning of the stand. Moreover, the commuters after de-boarding  are to re-board further vehicles  and pay again to reach their ultimate points choking the roads from Qamarwari/Barthana to civil lines area etc,. The  entry  of northern   stage carriage vehicular traffic  into the stand has complicated the up and the down  flow of other vehicular  traffic negotiating from Batamaloo or Chattabal to pass  on to HMT crossing or onwards and in turn by checkmating it twice while entering into the yard. The better alternative could have been diverting all the public transport stage carriage buses from north to move via Parimpora Bye-Pass  and make entry into the yard through New Fruit Mandi Gate where vehicles coming from south terminate. Road & traffic experts opine that expansion plan for GBS. Batamaloo by recouping the land at Tatoo ground from defence authorities who, as per press reports, have been already handed over alternate land at Sharifabad Zainakote would have been a welcome step given the tri-angular access points at Tengpora-Mominabad Batamaloo crossing, Bemina Chowk-Medical College Hostel and Parimpora-Qamarwari for the districts/city traffic besides South –Eastern linkage from  the civil lines area. Once keenly pursued with the defence authorities the matter appears to have silenced as vacation from the premises by defence authorities  & possession by Government is unheard  of till date. A change  being the only permanent event   does not  matter  the  impact it leaves does.

Establishing the new general bus stand on the Budgam side of the bye pass  can be considered as an  alternative. Here all the stage carriages  of  the north and south districts  could stay and operate  smoothly  on the bye pass  sans having to  criss- cross  the Parimpora  chowk  or the Fruit Mandi  via JVC-Parimpora bye pass except those of  District Ganderbal  which would continue the existing route to end at  new general bus stand. In this way all the passengers would  board, de-board and  re-board  from the new general bus stand  Parimpora unlike at Mandi  to further interior  city /civilian  and exterior/outer rural  destinations. 

Underways can be built  across the bye pass road  so that  traffic moving back to south or south-western districts does not have to confront ingress movement into the stand with similar action for upcoming traffic of north and north-western  districts to counter jamming at Parimpora junction. Steps taken in haste often go waste. Egoism, I know everything approach, political rivalism, party paranoia  should not deter  planning structural changes in an economy.  Cool & considered decision in consultation with the expertise/stakeholders concerned with a  clear road map for transparent and honest implementation is a simple formula for solution to any of the problems. Where there is a will there is a way.

[The author is a former Sr. Audit Officer working as Consultant in the A.G’s Office Srinagar.]



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