Srinagar: Despite the High Court verdict against roadside parking in Srinagar, the government on Tuesday allowed Congress party workers to block Srinagar’s MA road, causing traffic jams.
Dozens of vehicles of Congress workers, who had come to pay their respects to former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 33rd death anniversary, were parked outside the Congress headquarters in the city up to College of Education. The vehicles blocked the road, creating traffic snarls.
The illegally parked vehicles choked the pace of traffic movement right from Budshah Bridge because of which commuters had to face difficulties.
Several traffic policemen stationed at MA Road Crossing, just a few metres from the Pradesh Congress office, did not bother to take any action against the violators nor did they advise the party workers to park their vehicles inside the multi-crore, fully automatic parking lot developed by the Srinagar Development Authority on the same road.
A commuter, Faisal Shabir, told Kashmir Reader that the police should have taken action against traffic violators so as to send the message to everyone that all individuals are equal before the law. “I’m very disappointed to see that nobody is acting against them. I have seen how the traffic police seizes the vehicles of common people whenever they park in the same manner as the traffic violators, but when it comes to people associated with politics, everyone closes their eyes as if nothing wrong is being done,” he said.
Businessman Firdous Ahmad said, “Such negligence inspires others to commit similar mistakes. Today they allowed them, tomorrow someone else would do the same, and then the department will claim that people are themselves responsible for the mess.”
Early this year, the court ordered the Inspectors General of Police of Jammu and Srinagar as well as IGPs and SSPs of Traffic (of both Jammu and Kashmir) to ensure that no vehicle is allowed to park at any place other than the designated parking slots.
“It ordered vehicles found parked by the road to be seized and released only on the orders of this court,” a division bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and BS Walia had said. “There is a clear-cut High Court order that no vehicle should be allowed to be parked on the road sides, but here both the parties (the law makers and the law enforcing agencies) are violating the order,” the commuter said.
Satnam Singh, another commuter, told Kashmir Reader that the government had constructed a fully automatic parking lot and questioned why the police did not advise the party workers to park their vehicles in it. “The parking lot usually remains empty. To set an example, the police should have asked the congress workers to park their vehicles inside it. Even if the parking would have charged them, it would not have affected their pockets as all of them seem to be rich, by looking at the size of their cars,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Tahir Saleem told Kashmir Reader that he will see whether the Congress workers had permission to park their vehicles on roadside.
Asked whether the workers were allowed to park vehicles on the road, he said, “No not at all. No one is allowed to park vehicles on the road. I will look into the matter.”