Mir Zeeshan

Frequent traffic jams choke roads in Shopian Town

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Pulwama, Dec 09: Perennial traffic snarls in south Kashmir’s Shopian town hassle the movement of thousands of commuters and pedestrians alike.

“It will take you at least half an hour, sometimes even more, to cover a distance of one kilometer if you are driving down the streets of town,” said Owais Ahmad, a commuter.

Local residents hold a whole host of reasons responsible for the mess including lack of parking space, mismanagement of traffic, encroachment of pavements and failure of government to widen some important roads.

“Shopian is the only town without a single spacious parking lot with the result people pull off their vehicles on roadsides which cause long and frequent traffic jams” said Nazir Ahmad, a senior citizen adding that despite their constant gripes, nothing has been done until now and absence of traffic police cops is another hurdel in the smooth run of traffic in the town.

While most of the sidewalks in the market places have been encroached by shopkeepers, the vegetable and other vendors have occupied a large portion of already narrow roads causing tremendous inconveniences to pedestrians.

Scores of residents say the non- widening of Shopian-Habdipora road is one of the main reasons for the traffic mess in the town and entry of heavy vehicle is creating more chock to the narrow roads which results in difficulties for two vehicles to pass simultaneously.

Although government sanctioned the widening of the road a few years ago, the land acquisition process is however yet to take off.

Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Majid Jahangir told Kashmir Images that a total amount of Rs 7 crore had been estimated by the department as compensation for acquiring the land while Roads and Buildings department has so far released only 2.5 crore.

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