The shortage of parking spaces in North Kashmir’s Kupwara town is taking a heavy toll on commuters. No parking spaces means the vehicles are parked along the roadside in a haphazard manner, giving rise to traffic jams.
The town has no parking space allotted by the administration which forces the commuters to park their vehicle along the roadsides.
“With the increase in the number of private vehicles and no parking space in town, people are forced to park their vehicle on roads which has created traffic mess in the town,” said a local of Kupwara, Suhail Ahmad.
The commuters have expressed anguish over the seizure of cars, parked on roads, by traffic police. “The authorities should first provide the parking space then they should implement the order for non-parking zone along road side,” said Marif Masood, a local of Kupwara whose vehicle was lifted at main chowk by traffic police.
People heaved a sigh of relief in the town when administration allowed to park vehicles along by-pass road, but it accommodates only around 100 vehicles. “The three-wheelers cover one side of the lane as they have no stand provided by the administration, then some matting shops place their merchandise on the parking space which has also crippled the space for parking,” Suhial Ahmad added.
On Hospital road, Hajaj Market road, Jamia road there is not a single parking space where commuters and shopkeepers can park their vehicle. “The shortage of parking space is the main reason for parking of vehicles along the road, which the administration does not allow,” a commuter who was parking his vehicle in non-parking zone said.
“I know I am doing wrong, show me the parking space I will park my vehicle there, I don’t have any other option,” said Khaliq Ahmad.
A shopkeeper at main chowk told Greater Kashmir that there is no space for customers to park their vehicles and shop at ease; “as a result we lose out on business.”
“Yesterday a customer was purchasing some goods and suddenly his vehicle was towed by police as it was parked along road side at main chowk, he left without purchasing anything,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, who owns a hardware shop.
When contacted, Executive Officer municipal committee, Farooq Ahmad, said that there was no space which can be allotted for parking. “The main bus stand of Kupwara will be shifted to Bohipora and the space will be used for parking. It will take some time to implement,” he said.
“Presently we have opened a space outside Deputy Commissioner’s office for parking. After a few days the shifting of bus stand will be started and we have taken up the matter with Deputy Commissioner to provide support for the shifting,” Farooq Ahmad said.