Patiala, October 2
Shopkeepers and small businessmen who have been working adjacent to the old bus stand held a protest carrying black flags on the road from Lahori Gate towards the old city bus stand before the arrival of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at Mata Kaushalya hospital.
For the last five months, the businessmen have been demanding that the state government run the old bus stand to support their businesses. They had earlier expressed displeasure over the loss of business due to the shifting of the city’s bus stand near Urban Estate in May and also held repeated meetings with government functionaries. The protestors included shopkeepers, hoteliers, and restaurant owners, among others.
The hoteliers said they have been demanding that the state government keep the city’s old bus stand running. Shopkeepers said they have suffered losses and are forced to reduce the staff. Everyone from dhabas, sweet-shop, and cloth-shop owners, among others, is affected by the shifting of the city’s bus stand.
A shopkeeper at the Lahori Gate market said, “We have received repeated assurances from ministers and MLAs here, but it has not generated any result. We want the government to keep the old city bus stand running so that businesses do not suffer while commuters and visitors can reach the markets with ease. At least the small-route buses should run through the old bus stand. That will also reduce the new bus stand’s burden.”
Rajinder Ahuja, owner of Dhaba Krishna Corner near the bus stand, said, “The market adjacent to the old bus stand has taken a hit along with the Arya Samaj market area. The state government had assured us to run the old bus stand along with the new bus stand, but they have failed to make it happen.”
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