As people in large numbers thronged city markets on Tuesday to make purchases for Eid-ul-fitr, most of the areas in the summer capital witnessed massive traffic jams causing inconvenience to commuters.
Several areas including Batamaloo, Jehangir Chowk, MA Road, Residency Road, Abdullah Bridge, Dalgate, Nowhatta witnessed traffic jams on Tuesday. Traders say many of their customers are avoiding to visit city centre to make purchases due to traffic jams.
Farhan Kitab, chief spokesman, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation said traffic management plan ahead of Eid was missing. “There are hardly any policemen present at major traffic junctions during evenings which causes jams,” said Kitab.
Commuters say lack of designated parking spaces in the city centre was the main reason for the traffic jams. “People wrongly park their vehicles which causes traffic jams. I was here to purchase clothes and accessories but reaching to Lal Chowk was quite time consuming,” said a commuter.
Ahead of Eid, vendors selling clothes, electronic and household goods are also doing brisk business. However, many commuters blame presence of hawkers for the traffic mess.
“Although vendor markets offer affordable products but they are also a cause for the traffic jams. There should be designated hawker vending zones where people can go and make purchases for festivals etc,” said another shopper.
IG Traffic, Alok Kumar said wrongly parked vehicles were regularly challaned after being captured by CCTV. “More than 300 wrongly parked vehicles that were captured by CCTV in last two weeks. Challans are being sent to the home of car owner. This move has been helpful to ensure smooth movement of traffic after opening of Darbar move. We hope it will prove to be a deterrent for wrong parking in run up to Eid as well,” said Kumar.
Commuters have complained that vehicles overtaking and approaching from wrong side also cause traffic jams. However, Kumar said a traffic management plan ahead of Eid was being put in place. “At Rajbagh, one way from hat trick restaurant has helped to regulate traffic flow. Major part of the girder work on Jehangir chowk- Ram Bagh is expected to be completed in next five days after which two-way traffic will be allowed on the stretch,” Kumar said.