SRINAGAR: The expectations that traffic mess would be addressed in Srinagar city after the darbar move were dashed to ground as thousands of vehicle struggle to manoevre every day on the busy thoroughfares of the capital as the authorities unable to remove the complicated snarls. The situation worsened after the bus stand was shifted from Batamaloo to Parimpora with an aim to decongest the city traffic.
The bus stand was shifted in August last under the orders of the state high court, which directed the concerned authorities to disallow vendors on pavements and roadsides.
Despite the orders, the implementation authorities failed to bring about any respite to the people and commuters. Hundreds of vehicles and vendors continued to occupy the most part of the roads in the city center areas. In last couple of months the strength of vendors has even increased.
Just a couple of days ago, the traffic movement in the areas like Amira Kadal, Jehangir Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Residency Road, Moulana Azad Road, Regal Chowk, Polo View and Batamaloo witnessed massive congestions for most time of the day. The impact of traffic snarls was felt in the city outskirts including Qamarwari, Hyderpora and Safa Kadal.
Commuters complained that they were stuck for hours in these areas. They claimed the traffic cops tried their best to ease out the situation but were helpless in dealing with the menace. “Traffic police men were trying their best to remove traffic jam but they were not able to overcome it because of the huge traffic density,” a private car owner told Kashmir Reader. “They (traffic police) are not to be blamed entirely as we too have to look at ourselves on our own follies,” he said.
Speaking with the Kashmir Reader Senior Superintend of Police (SSP) traffic Tahir Saleem said that his men were trying their best to ease out traffic. “My job is to give you a road for movement of vehicles. If the roads are occupied by vendors, the traffic managers will find it difficult to manage,” he said. He said that traffic police is equally suffering from the traffic mess. “I am repeatedly asking the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to address the vendor issue,” he said.
Chief Enforcement Officer, SMC, however, complained that police were not cooperating with the Corporation employees in dealing with the vendor issue. “We are doing our best but my department is helpless without the support of police. Whenever we go on anti-encroachment drive, we remove the vendors from road. But within no time they return and reoccupy the places. We are not authorized to use any power. Only police can do that,” he said.