Anantnag: The alleged high-handedness of the chairman of Pampore Municipal Committee (PMC) in not allowing hawkers to be moved has meant that the vital, single approach road to Sub-District Hospital Pampore remains clogged as usual, hindering movement in times of emergencies.
The road, from Kadlabal Chowk via the police station to SDH Pampore, is a narrow one. Despite that, dozens of hawkers have been occupying the roadside while many park their vehicles illegally, much to the inconvenience of people visiting the hospital, often in an emergency situation.
“We have been pleading with the administration to take steps to keep the road clear, so that patients do not lose precious time in reaching the hospital,” a resident of the area told Kashmir Reader, adding that the local administration did carry out some anti-encroachment exercises but nothing concrete had been done thus far.
This is despite the fact that SDH Pampore is thronged by hundreds of people not only from Pampore but from the peripheries and even from villages closer to Pulwama district headquarters.
“Also, there are private clinics lined along the road where people come to visit and park their vehicles haphazardly, creating unnecessary impediment,” locals said.
The first concrete step towards addressing this grave concern was taken recently by the local administration, by deciding to shift the hawkers to a nearby place.
“We had identified a place for them and even got that place cleaned so that the hawkers would shift and some respite is brought to the general public,” Tehsildar Pampore, Ishtiyaq Mohiuddin, told Kashmir Reader.
The hawkers were to be shifted on Monday, but at the eleventh hour, the Chairman of the Municipal Committee, Malik Yaqoob, intervened and made sure that none of the hawkers was shifted.
“He created a scene and said that no one will be moved without his permission. Besides, he questioned the authority of the Tehsildar in doing so,” a source in the local administration told Kashmir Reader.
So, the source said, the hawkers have stayed put on the roadsides and the hospital road remains clogged.
Mohiuddin also spoke of the intervention by the Chairman and said that he will be writing to him, officially, in the coming days. “These steps should have been taken by the municipality, but unfortunately, they have not been,” he said.
Kashmir Reader tried reaching Malik for his comments but he did not attend his phone, despite repeated attempts.