Municipal officer says working on solution while daily hassle for commuters continues
Shopian: Traffic jams continue to plague Shopian town as entry of heavy vehicles in the town premises remains unchecked despite repeated orders from the district administration.
Once the heavy vehicles enter the town between 9am and 5pm, rows of passenger vehicles can be seen behind them, stuck in traffic jams.
Daily commuters say that whenever tractors with lorries enter the main town, it results in long traffic jams which create problems for office goers and patients in particular, and other commuters in general.
Since 2018, the district administration has issued about a dozen orders to stop the entry of heavy vehicles, including tractors, in the town, particularly during day hours. The orders have said that commercial works for these vehicles are required should be carried out before 9am or after 5pm. No such order has yet been implemented on the ground.
Mubashir Ahmad, who travels 20 kilometers to reach Shopian town for his business, said that he is forced to waste three to four hours in traffic jams due to the callous attitude of traffic department and municipal authorities.
“No widening of roads in the town has been done in the last three decades, and when roads are so narrow, the authorities should have implemented day-time ban on entry of heavy vehicles. But nothing has been done to save people’s time,” he said.
Zahid Showkat, a local resident, said that for a brief while the Municipal Committee Shopian carried out a driver against street vendors who put their carts on roads, but after that the vendors again started their business on the roads, particularly around the Jamia Masjid area.
He said that similar crowd of street vendors can be seen at Gol Chowk where vendors also use auto rickshaws to sell their products on roads.
“The space near Gol Chowk has already shrunk due to the clock tower and then vendors place their rickshaws and carts on the roads, adding to the space crunch,” he said.
Suhail Ahmad Malik, Executive Officer of Municipal Committee Shopian, told Kashmir Reader that they have identified a permanent place for vendors. “It is a place near the girls’ higher secondary school. We have sent a letter to the Roads and Buildings department to give us an estimate on its development cost, so that we will be able to shift all the vendors at that place,” he said.
On entry of heavy vehicles, Malik said that the issue is almost solved with the new highway 444. “Its demarcation is going on in full swing. I think after six months all heavy vehicles will be routed through NH444 so that the town is bypassed,” he said.
He added that a drive against encroachers will also be carried out after settling the issue of the street vendors and the bypass.