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 jams caused by the wrongly parked cars of shoppers outside the exhibition venue during last three days. However, calling the relocation decision of the authorities as “logistically impossible to implement”, event organisers have threatened to wind-up the exhibition which has hundreds of stalls selling clothes, accessories and kids’ entertainment zones.

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

“For last three days the MA Road junction has been chocked with traffic mess. Now the administration has asked the organizers to relocate towards the rare side of Sangarmal to avoid traffic congestion,” Geelani said. “Having this exhibition either on the front or the rare side is counterproductive from traffic management point of view but now that the permission has been granted by SDA, it must be held on rare side,” Geelani said adding that a number of wrongly parked cars were toed-away by the traffic department on Saturday.

Organiser of the event Arun Sharma of Jammu-based event management company, Sharma Brothers, said it was not logistically possible to relocate the event as it was a time consuming process. Sharma said they have sought a proper permission and no objection certificate from Srinagar Development Authority to whom the exhibition land belongs to.

“Is it not justice to ask us relocate after providing the permission to organise the event. It will take us almost 12 days to shift to the new location and the entire exhibition will lose its entire charm. Also we will have to continuously pay the fees to SDA making us suffer losses,” Sharma said.

“Exhibition has received an overwhelming response and moving it will break the momentum,” said Sharma, adding, they will take a decision on whether to relocate or wind-up the exhibition by Sunday.

When contacted, an SDA official said they had advised the exhibition organisers to set-up a car parking at the rare side which the organisers failed to do. “The only way to avoid the traffic jams was to have a notified parking at the rare side which was not followed by the organisers. We have issued the permission to organizers with a pre-condition that designated car parking will be set-up,” the official said.