Shopian: Despite the entry of heavy vehicles into main town Shopian having been thrice banned by the district administration, rows of these vehicles continue to put traffic here into a frequent jam, while the market grinds to a standstill.
The South Kashmir town of Shopian has been witnessing heavy traffic jams on its roads since the past three years while people allege that the traffic police department is taking no interest in solving the problem. “Once we enter the main town, it takes us hours to reach the other side, and there are no traffic regulating cops anywhere except at Batpora Chowk,” Mukhtar Ahmad, a student, said.
Another main town resident who wanted to remain unnamed said that the entry of heavy vehicles, like trucks, tippers and tractors, into town was banned thrice by former deputy commissioners from 9 am to 5 pm, but, ironically, the ban was never implemented on the ground.
Students studying in different town-based schools said they reach their schools late due to the traffic jams created both by heavy vehicles as well as by those who park their vehicles on the road sides despite the town’s roads being very narrow.
Suhail Ahmad Bhat, a shopkeeper, said that the parking of vehicles in almost every part of town is a big reason for Shopian’s traffic mess. Commuters from the town said that footpaths, which were meant for paedestrians, had been occupied by shopkeepers with the various commodities they have on sale.
Former bans on the entry of heavy vehicles into the main town have clearly lost all weight, despite the inconvenience the traffic snarls are causing to ordinary people. Shopian resident Mushtaq Ahmad Malik mentioned a potentially grave consequence: “Tractor and lorry drivers carrying sand and gravel from the Rambiara don’t use cover on the material. When there is a strong wind, the sand comes out of the lorries and goes into the eyes of people, including bike riders, which results in accidents.”
A group of students told Kashmir Reader that they request the deputy commissioner of Shopian to order and implement a ban on entry of heavy vehicles. People doing wrong parking should also be dealt with strictly by the authorities.
The Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Gazanfar Ali, told Kashmir Reader that he has ordered a ban on the entry of heavy vehicles during day time in the town. “By tomorrow, this ban would be implemented, and those who are creating traffic jams would be dealt with strictly,” he said.