Shopian: There seems to be no escape from traffic jams on the streets of Shopian town encroached upon largely by vendors and parked vehicles.
While vehicles get stuck in the jam, pedestrians find it hard to make their way even on the encroached sidewalks.
A ban on the entry of tractors into the town is openly violated, while the district administration, which issued the ban few months ago, seems to be in no mood to enforce it.
Adnan Tak, a local resident said that not only tractors, but “vehicles with 14 wheels are making rounds throughout the day in the market while as some of them are parking these heavy vehicles on road sides to unload the goods”.
Ayaz Ahmad Mir, a shopkeeper in the town wondered if the administration was bothered about the traffic jams which remain “too dense throughout the day”.
Another commuter blamed roadside parking and street vendors for the crisis.
Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Dagh Mohalla blamed the “narrow streets” of the town for the problem.
“Actually there are no footpaths in the town, where there is one it has been occupied by vendors and shopkeepers,” he said.
Executive Officer, Municipal Committee Shopian, Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar acknowledged the traffic crisis and occupation of roads by the vendors.
“We are serious regarding shifting the vendors to alternate place but currently we don’t have any such area where we can shift these vendors,” Dar said adding that they would discuss the matter with deputy commissioner.
A number of residents sought action against wrong parking and violation of bans on heavy vehicles.
Assistant Sub Inspector Traffic Police Shopian, Ghulam Rasool, however, cited dearth of staff to manage the “huge traffic”.
“I have only four staffers to manage the traffic of town and to see the affairs of Mughal road as well. Three of the staffers were transferred recently but only one was deputed against three transfers,” Rasool said.
With so little staff, Rasool said, it was impossible to tackle
the problem of illegal parking, which would also require a towing crane.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Parvez Sajad Ganie told Kashmir Reader that they would find an immediate solution to the problem of traffic jams and settlement of vendors.
“I will call a meeting tomorrow regarding this with all stakeholders like traffic police, municipal committee and ARTO,” Ganie said.