Lack of designated parking slots pester people in Downtown

In absence of  parking facilities, people are forced to park cars on roads resulting in traffic jams.
In absence of parking facilities, people are forced to park cars on roads resulting in traffic jams.File/ GK

Srinagar: Lack of parking slots in Downtown here is taking a toll on commuters, locals and traders there.

The inhabitants of Downtown areas including Maharaj Gunj, Nowhatta, Aali Kadal, Bohri-Kadal, Zaina Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, and Gojwara, said that lack of parking slots is affecting their day-to-day life.

“It is impossible to get a parking spot in Downtown. The historic area is the identity and cultural hub of Srinagar. Ironically authorities are not doing enough to address the issues. With no parking space, commuters are forced to park vehicles on roadside hampering vehicular movement,” said Ashiq Ahmed, a local from Nowhatta.

The business community in the area said that being a commercial hub, the issue of lack of parking spaces has affected their business.

Ayaz Zehgeer from Beopar Mandal Maharaj Gun said that shoppers don’t prefer to visit the area which was once full of hustle-bustle. He said that with the lack of parking zones, the footfall of customers has been affected.

 “When there are no parking spaces, people are forced to park vehicles on roads. We as the business community took up the issue with authorities, but nothing is being done. The authorities are saying that they have identified the land for the parking zone, but the work on the project is yet to see the light of day. With roadside parking and wrong parking, the area is crippled by traffic jams which affect normal life here,” Zehgeer said.

Chairman Shaher-e-Khaas Traders Coordination Committee Nazir Ahmad Shah also expressed resentment over lack of parking facilities. “Downtown is a historic place and cultural hub of Srinagar. However the place is without parking facilities. Absence of parking facilities takes toll on locals and affects footfall of customers,” said. “There is not a single designated parking slot in single designated parking slot in core business areas of Shaher-e-Khaas including Zaina Kadal, Maharaj Gunj and Bohri Kadal areas, Authorities should redress the issue at earliest,”Shah added.

 To mention, many departments in the past, like R&B and SDA, have been saying that they will take up the parking project, but on the ground, nothing has been done so far. Concerned officials maintain that the main problem that they are facing is unavailability of land to develop parking slots. CEO, Srinagar Smart City Limited did not respond to calls of this reporter.

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