Bandipore: Owing to the rapid expansion after achieving district status, Bandipore has suffered miserably due to gross mismanagement. Bandipore is witnessing an enormous influx of vehicles but the roads remain narrow as ever. Add to it the growing menace of street vendors and the roads might as well be reduced to footpaths. Authorities have time and again tried to prevent the street vendors from occupying the foot paths meant for pedestrians, but the failure to provide an alternative so that these people can earn their livelihood has prevented any such drives to curb the problem.
According to Bilal Ahmad, a fruit seller who earns his livelihood by selling fruits on the street, I have been selling fruits here for many years and before me, my father occupied the same spot to feed our family. But now authorities find us soft targets and scatter our valuable goods with least consideration for our sufferings. On the other hand, a shop keeper Khursheed Ahmad complained about these street vendors and accused them of selling low quality goods at lower rates, thus attracting more customers.
Another grave concern which has added enormously to the sufferings of the local people is the conversion of the main chowk into a parking space, leaving no space for commuters or any public vehicle to pass by. Requesting the authorities to pay heed to the matter, officials of the Fire and Emergencies Department said, There is no space for emergency vehicles to pass by, thus help is often delayed. According to locals, there is an empty spot which can serve as a parking space but the land is filled with the ruins of an old State bank. Moreover, the vacant land in the premises of main town has been allotted to unknown people on a no time-limit lease. Even forest land of the landmark hillock of Bandipore Shaab-Sob is being encroached at a very high rate by both locals and others coming from nearby villages to settle in the district. Thanks to the growing number of corrupt officials, attaining leases of protected lands is a piece of cake.
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