Illegal parking of vehicles and encroachment along footpaths by shopkeepers and street vendors have choked the main market Bandipora, thereby causing huge inconveniences to the public.
Locals told Greater Kashmir that the illegal and haphazard parking of vehicles at Gulshan Chowk along roadsides in the main market has made their lives miserable. "The choking of roads and footpaths in the main market which is already facing a space crunch right from Kaloosa to Nusoo has been causing immense problems to the public. People park their vehicles illegally without bothering about the space and inconvenience caused by it. The choking of space leads to frequent traffic jams in the main market," said a local resident Showkat Ahmad.
The locals said that all this has been happening under the nose of municipal committee Bandipora which has failed to act against the encroachers who have occupied footpaths and illegally park their vehicles on the roadside.
They alleged that roadside vendors and shopkeepers have occupied footpaths thereby leaving no space for pedestrians who are forced to walk in the middle of the road. "On one side shopkeepers and street vendors have occupied the footpaths and on the other hand people park their vehicles illegally on the roadside," said another local Bashir Ahmad.
He said that the encroachment on footpaths and illegal parking of vehicles ultimately results in huge traffic jams in the main market for hours together, mostly during peak hours. "It takes more than an hour to reach the destination of 5 minutes as there are frequent traffic snarls. In Gulshan Chowk mini-buses are parked illegally which block the main road," the locals said.
"The height is that first shopkeepers used to occupy the footpaths to display their goods, now people have been parking two-wheelers on these footpaths," the locals said.
They said that they have many times apprised the municipal committee Bandipora and other concerned authorities but they have failed to act on the ground.
Executive officer municipal committee Bandipora, Wali Muhammad was not available for comments as his phone was out of network coverage.
When contacted additional deputy commissioner Bandipora, Zahoor Ahmad said that he would look into it and action will be taken against the shopkeepers occupying footpaths and people parking their vehicles illegally.