Sopore: The apple town, Sopore, may have gained the moniker ‘Chota London’ for being a busy commercial hub, but the authorities haven’t deemed the town worthy of a traffic regulating unit so far. Despite being a separate police district, Sopore lacks a traffic police unit.
In the absence of traffic police, chaos is ruling the streets of Sopore. Traffic jams and haphazard parking are the order of the day in the town, with residents saying travelling in the town has become a nightmare.
“It takes hours to travel a distance by car, which can by covered in minutes by foot,” Abdul Rashid, a local resident said.
“I have never seen any traffic policeman in Sopore town in my entire life,” said Rashid.Zubair Ahmad, a shopkeeper in Iqbal market said that the town has been discriminated for being a hub of resistance politics.
“The town has always been a hub of pro-freedom parties right from Jamat-i-Islamia to Tehreek-i-Hurriyat. We have boycotted elections, followed strike calls and have always protested against human rights violations, that’s why why we have been left without many facilities and the traffic police is one of them,” Ahmad said.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, Sub-District Magistrate of Sopore, Bashir Ahmad Bhat acknowledged that the town was badly in need of traffic police.
“In the past I have written to higher authorities to provide us a small traffic police unit and a crane so that we can regulate traffic laws, but my consecutive requests have fallen on deaf ears,” Bhat said.
He added that he also tried to take help from regular police in Sopore, but without any success.
“Along with municipality, I constituted a small unit of around 20 municipal employees who to some extent helped in regulating the traffic but that’s not enough, as they cannot substitute the traffic police.”
Superintendent of Police, Sopore , Harmeet Singh, said that it was not their duty to regulate traffic. “But looking at the condition of traffic, we are ready to assist but the traffic police department should first establish a traffic unit in Sopore town,” Singh said.
SSP Rural Traffic department, Aijaz Ahmad was unaware of absence of traffic police facility in Sopore. “I will look into this matter and try to get it resolved soon,” he said when informed.