The encroachment of roads and footpaths by Jammu and Kashmir Police to curb illegal parking in crowded areas of winter capital has become a major impediment for smooth movement of traffic and pedestrians.
The Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh (SMGS) Hospital road is one such example where motorists and pedestrians are facing great inconvenience due to 'encroachment' of road and footpaths by police which has laid barbed on road sides to prevent illegal parking.
The barbed wire laid by police has not only reduced the width of the road to half but also restricted the accesses of the pedestrian and commuters to the footpath and the only passenger shed in the area.
While chronic traffic jams have become a common scene in the area, the patients and their attendants are forced to risk their life to move amid thick traffic to enter and come out of the hospital. Air and noise pollution due to vehicular emission and honking of horns is another fall out of the police move.
Being one of the premier pediatric and maternity hospital, where space is at a premium, SMGSH receives hundreds of patients every day.
"It's unfortunate that police has laid barbed wires on road to restrict people from using free space for parking," said Geeta Bhagat, a maternity patient.
"I am not athlete. I am carrying a baby in my womb. It's not possible for me to jump and cross the wires when entire road is choked and there is no space for walking," she said.
"There are other ways to punish law offenders, police have power to slap challan on wrong parked vehicles, they have crane to lift cars but encroaching road is not justified at all," said Monika Raina , another patient.
"Even ambulances carrying patients has to pass through this congested road because hospital doesn't have a alternative entrance for emergencies, making it fatal for the patient who need urgent healthcare," she added.
"The volume of traffic has considerably increased in Jammu and with Durbar Move thousands of additional vehicles add in city's traffic but instead of regulating the traffic scenario or widening the roads, police is encroaching the premier road under the wrap of security concern," said Akshay Kumar.
"Entry of civilian vehicles has been already barred through civil secretariat –Dogra Hall road. And now forces have also encroached the space at Shalamar Chowk," he added.