Raja Syed Rather
Ganderbal, Dec 1: Notwithstanding the administration’s frequent warnings and actions, the shopkeepers and vendors in the main market of Ganderbal continue to occupy the footpaths and roads, making the movement of vehicles and pedestrians difficult. There is encroachment by shopkeepers and vendors everywhere from Behaama Chowk to Duderhama Chowk in this central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.
Locals said there is hardly any space for a pedestrian to walk through the market as the footpaths are filled with carts by vendors and items by shopkeepers.
“We are forced to walk on the main road where every other driver makes a horn to pave way for their vehicles,” Bilal Ahmad, a local, said.
He said it is “absolutely risky” for school children, who have bags hanging from their shoulders, to walk on the main road not to speak on crossing the path. “The shopkeepers have put their items up to six feet outside the shop. They think it is their private space,” he added.
Basit Ahmad, a youth, said the encroachers are unmoved by frequent action by the authorities. He said the vendors are the main reason for traffic jams across the town, especially in the main market.
“Every other day, there is a quarrel between vehicle owners over minor accidents due to traffic jams. There is chaos in the market,” he said.
The locals questioned the observing of Road Safety Week saying there is no awareness among the people. They said removing the encroachers is necessary for ensuring the safe and smooth movement of the public in the market.
Executive Officer Municipal Council Ganderbal Naveed Khan didn’t respond to repeated calls by this correspondent.