Sangarmal exhibition hits roadblock

Pestered with traffic jams, authorities ask organisers to relocate
Sangarmal exhibition hits roadblock

After witnessing an overwhelming response from shoppers during last three days, month-long shopping exhibition which kick-started at the Sangarmal lawns at MA Road on Eid-ul-Fitr has hit a roadblock after authorities Saturday asked organisers to relocate the event.

The decision has come in the wake of massive traffic jamscaused by the wrongly parked cars of shoppers outside the exhibition venueduring last three days. However, calling the relocation decision of theauthorities as "logistically impossible to implement", event organisers havethreatened to wind-up the exhibition which has hundreds of stalls sellingclothes, accessories and kids' entertainment zones.

SSP Traffic, Srinagar, Al-Tahir Geelani said the decision toask organisers to shift the exhibition from front side of Sangarmal towards therare side was taken due to massive traffic jams witnessed on the MA Roadjunction during last three days. Geelani said such an exhibition at a busytraffic junction has compounded the problems of traffic management.

"For last three days the MA Road junction has been chockedwith traffic mess. Now the administration has asked the organizers to relocatetowards the rare side of Sangarmal to avoid traffic congestion," Geelani said."Having this exhibition either on the front or the rare side iscounterproductive from traffic management point of view but now that thepermission has been granted by SDA, it must be held on rare side," Geelani saidadding that a number of wrongly parked cars were toed-away by the traffic departmenton Saturday.

Organiser of the event Arun Sharma of Jammu-based eventmanagement company, Sharma Brothers, said it was not logistically possible torelocate the event as it was a time consuming process. Sharma said they havesought a proper permission and no objection certificate from SrinagarDevelopment Authority to whom the exhibition land belongs to.

"Is it not justice to ask us relocate after providing thepermission to organise the event. It will take us almost 12 days to shift tothe new location and the entire exhibition will lose its entire charm. Also wewill have to continuously pay the fees to SDA making us suffer losses," Sharmasaid.

"Exhibition has received an overwhelming response and movingit will break the momentum," said Sharma, adding, they will take a decision onwhether to relocate or wind-up the exhibition by Sunday.

When contacted, an SDA official said they had advised theexhibition organisers to set-up a car parking at the rare side which theorganisers failed to do. "The only way to avoid the traffic jams was to have anotified parking at the rare side which was not followed by the organisers. Wehave issued the permission to organizers with a pre-condition that designatedcar parking will be set-up," the official said.

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