Shopian, June 9: To do away with the traffic congestion and gridlocks , the district administration in south Kashmir's Shopian district had decided to roll out e-rickshaws as apart of its decongestion and beautification process in March 2021.
Even the modalities were finalised for the introduction of 20 such rickshaws in the first phase. However, after a hiatus of more than two years, the rickshaws are yet to roll on the thoroughfares and streets of the town.
"I have been posted in the district merely a few months. I do not know under which scheme the administration was to procure these rickshaws", said a senior official, who declined to be quoted by his name.
Another official, who was then posted in the district and was in the meeting wherein the administration decided to introduce the e-rickshaws, told Greater Kashmir that the idea was to relocate the cab stands from the main market and introduce the e-rickshaws.
He said that the rickshaws were to be procured under some scheme. The commuters and pedestrians, on the other hand, continue to bear the brunt of frequent tailbacks. They also have to cover long distances on foot within the town.
The locations where the town witnesses bumper to bumper traffic include Four Way road, Gole Chowk and Bona Bazar and Bongam area.
"I almost on a daily basis get stuck in traffic jam for at least 10 to 15 minutes every day", said Mubashir Ahmad, a commuter. He said that cabs and other vehicles being parked on the roadsides is one of the key reasons for such pesky jams.
Another commuter said that a distance that could be travelled in 10 minutes in free-flowing traffic takes more than half an hour.
The residents said that the worst traffic snarls are witnessed during the harvesting season. "The apple laden trucks ply through the town during peak morning and evening hours", they said.
They said that the e-rickshaws could not only have helped in decongestion of traffic but also given employment to the unemployed youth.
"Some of the cab stands are already located outside main market and in absence of any transport service, the passengers have to walk to reach to board on a cab", they said.