Street Vendors Continue To Occupy Roads, Create Chaos In Batamaloo

By Syed Burhan
SRINAGAR- The street vendors continue to hamper the pedestrian and vehicular movement in Batamaloo area of Srinagar city with the authorities doing little enough to free the roads from their occupation.
Commuters travelling towards the city centre Lal Chowk via Batamaloo have to face frequent traffic jams due to the choking of roadside and pavement space by vendors. They can be seen sprawling their carts across the vital stretch which often results in traffic jams.
Although Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has launched an anti-encroachment drive, they seem to find it difficult to clear encroachment given the vast number of carts across the busy stretch.
Similar scenes were witnessed on Wednesday, although authorities swung into action and restrained the street vendors from occupying the main road, street vendors were still seen occupying the pavement and roadside of the busy junction.
Frequent travellers on the Batamaloo road have long complained of traffic jams but the pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
“Traffic jams on this stretch have become a norm and I am used to it, as a motorist I find a way to go through. For cars and buses, it is a long journey, Syed Mutahar a commuter.
Talking to Kashmir Observer, SSP Traffic Muzaffar Ahmad Shah agreed that vendors are the main reason for traffic jams in Batamaloo.“Our primary role is the regulation and management of traffic. In order to regulate traffic, we need roads and pavements free from encroachments. It is a prerequisite that all intersections are free from encroachments”. he said.
Shah further said that the removal of encroachers and hawkers is under the domain of SMC. "Our area of responsibility is vehicles and their movement on the roads” he added
Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation Athar Aamir said that they have started a drive to remove encroachments.
 “In Batamaloo also we are taking action, we are entitled to remove roadblocks and the drive to remove encroachments will continue”, he added.

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