Magam residents decry encroachment of footpaths

Ishfaq Reshi
Magam: Residents of Magam and its adjacent areas in central Kashmir’s Budgam district demand action against vendors and shopkeepers who have encroached upon footpaths.
Speaking with Kashmir Reader, a group of residents said the casual approach of Magam Municipal Corporation and police has turned the busy Magam town into a mess, with roadside vendors occupying pavements and also a portion of the main street.
They said the shopkeepers too are adding to the mess by placing their commodities on the public spaces in front of their shops.
It affects traffic and pedestrian movement, they said.
Besides, they said, the Srinagar-Gulmarg highway always remains occupied by illegally-parked vehicles, resulting in frequent traffic snarl ups.
“Due to authorities’ inaction, street vendors have even encroached upon bus stops and shelters and today it looks like a complete hawkers’ zone,” said Ali Mohammad, a resident of Budran.
Another resident added: “This busy square at Magam in the middle of the highway approaching a tourist destination is a classic case of how public space is misused for commercial purpose right in front of the policemen.” Municipal committee authorities could not be contacted for comments.