No end to parking woes in city centre

Authorities fail to streamline traffic system

MUDASIR YAQOOB
Srinagar, Publish Date: Mar 22 2018 11:31PM | Updated Date: Mar 22 2018 11:31PM
No end to parking woes in city centreFile Photo

The much-hyped mechanized car parking lot and roadside slots marked by the authorities have failed to streamline traffic in the city centre here.

The woes are set to worsen after the shifting of offices to Srinagar from Jammu in May as part of biannual Durbar Move.

The “state-of-the art” automated car parking at erstwhile KMD yard, which can accommodate 288 vehicles has been a failure due to “exorbitant charges” by the Srinagar Development Authority.

“They charge Rs 20 for the first hour and Rs 10 for each next hour. At this rate, you are going to burn a big hole in your pocket if you travel to Lal Chowk daily,” said a commuter, Imtiyaz Ahmad. He suggested the authorities to bring down the charges to attract more commuters.

The roadside parking introduced by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation last year has also drawn a blank due to lack of “proper implementation”. Commuters said that the parking attendants often fail to produce a proper receipt, forcing them to look for other parking spaces.

“Not only the receipts, there is lot of confusion over parking charges,” said a commuter.

SMC has proposed 1500 roadside parking spots in the summer capital out of which 47 have already been identified, while eight have been made operational.

However, the main reason behind the traffic mess is believed to be the closure of two major parking lots, State Motor Garages behind Press Enclave and Sheikh Bagh, for upgradation last year.

Authorities started construction work simultaneously on both “multi-level car parking slots” in 2017. The two slots would otherwise accommodate around a thousand cars at a time.

The foundation of both the slots was laid by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on 3 January 2017 and are scheduled to be completed within three years.

“Despite late working hours, I have stopped travelling in my car to the office as it has become impossible to find any parking space,” said Altaf Ahmad, a commuter.

“These two parking slots are important as they are close to markets busy with shoppers. The families coming in cars feel it inconvenient to park their cars at far way places like SDA’s multi-tier parking,” said Ishfaq Ahmad.

Commuters fear that things can go from bad to worse if these parking lots are not completed in time. “The authorities should have given it a proper thought before closing them down for upgradation. They should have at least finished one of them before closing the other,” said Majid Ahmad.

Divisional commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan said that authorities would take care of the matter. “We are on it. I assure you that we are taking measures to resolve the issue,” he said.

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