Doda Bus-stand or Well of Death?

FARID AHMED ZARGAR
DODA, DEC 6:
Bus-stands, railway-stations and Airports act as an introduction of the place where they are located. The tidier bus stand or railway station is, the pleasanter is the introduction of that place and vice versa.
Congested and overcrowded Bus-stand of Doda gives an idea of congested and badly laid out town with dust and dirt in abundance.
With hundreds of vehicles entering the bus-stand on daily basis, local administration spares no opportunity to limit space for vehicles. Scores of idle vehicles including buses and trucks, mini-trucks and even load-carriers are often parked in bus-stand area, thus further squeezing the space for free movement of vehicles and pedestrians.
A number of kiosks and hand carts can also be seen at the bus-stand thus hampering the movement of vehicles during day time. Eateries and tea-stalls that have come up along eastern and western sides of the bus stand dispose-off their wastes in open, thereby giving a shabby look to the bus-stand. When attention of the Executive Officer, Municipality Doda was drawn towards the issue, he informed, “I have served two notices to a hotel-owner till date and will serve third-notice soon. In case, the hotel-owner fails to make necessary arrangements regarding disposal of wastes directly into the drain, he will be challaned as per law for creating nuisance and unhygienic conditions in bus-stand area.”
Surprisingly, a truck terminal, which was proposed to be made about 2 Km away from main town and the foundation stone of which was laid by the then Chief Minister in 2011, is yet to come up.
In the absence of proposed terminal, truck loads of merchandise goods are unloaded in the already congested bus-stand. “In the absence of proper truck terminal, load-carriers have no other alternative than to unload their vehicles at the bus-stand,” said Firdous Ahmed Khurwani, a Commission Agent.
He further alleged that Municipal officials have created a mess in the area by constructing buildings and shops, leaving least space for movement of vehicles and pedestrians.
Mumtaz-ur-Rehman, a Shopkeeper in bus-stand, said that pot-holes and dumps of building material by municipality add to woes of people, especially women-folk and labourers. “The bus-stand is also used for holding various public-meetings of political leaders and VIPs. On such occasions, the shop-keepers are directed to close their establishments for security reasons,” added Rehman.
“Despite presence of whistle blowing Policemen to regulate traffic during peak-hours, it is a risk to pass through the bus-stand area which has become a well of death,” said Ishiaq Dev, President Doda Development Front, demanding immediate relocation of light passenger vehicles and load carriers at some other suitable places.