SMC sits on paid parking slots on roadsides

Failure of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to notify 28 places in the summer capital as paid parking slots is taking a heavy toll on commuters.
SMC sits on paid parking slots on roadsides
Failure of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to notify 28 places in the summer capital as paid parking slots is taking a heavy toll on commuters.  

In a bid to prevent wrong parking, the Traffic department had forwarded the proposal to SMC. 

"It is established fact that lack of proper parking slots, sufficient enough to cater the huge rush of business activities in CBD areas, is forcing the commuters to park their vehicles on roadside illegally," reads the communiqué by Superintendent of Police Traffic City Maqsood-ul-Zaman to Commissioner SMC.

The communiqué vide number SSPTCS/GB/Parking-16/6590-96 dated April 16, 2016, further reads: "In this backdrop, the high level meeting was held under the chairmanship of divisional commissioner Kashmir, wherein it was decided that 28 road stretches in Srinagar be projected for hourly paid parking, which shall be notified, to discourage the menace of illegal parking and to address the issue of insufficient parking facilities for the time being."

The SSP had requested the SMC Commissioner to demarcate and notify these 28 stretches as hourly paid parking slots of Srinagar, so that the vehicles can be parked in orderly manner.

However, the SMC has been sitting on the proposal which otherwise could have further improved the traffic regulation of city roads.

On May 2, 2016, civil society members also urged government to formulate paid parking policy on roadsides for convenience of short-stay commuters, during a meet held with the then IGP traffic Shafqat Ali Watali.

"The authorities must charge for road side parking as per hour (time). Let it be Rs 20 for one hour. Customers and commuters, who use roadside parking for some purpose, would thus make sure that they don't park their vehicle for longer time. That would also help in smooth regulation of traffic," Muhammad Yaseen Khan, a senior civil society member told the IGP.

The stretches proposed for roadside parking by traffic police falls on MA Road, Residency Road and Bemina-Qamarwari areas, Jahangir Chowk, Batamaloo and others.

"It is seen that most of the illegal parking take place in these areas, resulting in inconvenience to commuters. The stretches which have been indentified for hourly paid parking would remove the menace without disturbing the movement of vehicles on the roads," said an official.

SMC Commissioner, Bashir Ahmad Khan however said that "there are already sufficient parking in the city while some new parking slots are also coming up."

"We have taken up the matter with higher ups but they turned it down saying parking cannot take place on roads. There are some places which can be notified as roadside parking with consultation of the government," Khan added.

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