Bumper-to-bumper traffic on the main arterial roads leading to Govindpuri Extension main market has become nightmare for the residents. Due to the bottlenecks they have to wait for long to enter the colonies. Residents blamed encroachment by vendors for the situation. And, illegally parked cars make matters worse.
“A large number of visitors come to the market and most of them leave their vehicles on the main road. People from other localities also park their cars. This leads to traffic jams,” said Jaspreet Sidhu, a resident. There is complete disorder and confusion in the evenings, which has become a routine exercise for locals, he added.
Residents said the issue has been discussed on several occasions in meetings with authorities but no change has taken place. They claim that it has been a decade that things have been so chaotic but the situation has worsened in the past four years with encroachments increasing manifold in the market area. Residents also claim that the road, which was 25ft wide, has been reduced to 15ft.
The footpath has been taken over by food outlets, pan shops and other small kiosks extending till the main road, leaving no space for pedestrians.
“The situation is so bad that there is no way an ambulance can reach the place in cases of an emergency,” said KK Makkar, chairman of the Resident Welfare Association. He added that the RWA has been pursuing the matter with South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the traffic department for a decade no but no action has been taken so far by either of the departments. And, with time, the encroachment has only increased.
Residents said that some of the shopkeepers charge money from vendors to set up their stalls in front of their shops. Around six months ago, the footpath was renovated here but is used by vendors instead of pedestrians.
“Shopkeepers have rented the footpath to food vendors and other hawkers. This makes even the footpath an accident-prone zone,” said Sachin Agarwal, another resident. He added: “This road has been shrunk to almost a single-lane passage. And all the traffic and pedestrians have to pass through it.”
After repeated complaints of the RWA members, in 2011, the municipal corporation and police had carried a drive under which they removed all encroachments from the road. However, residents claim that within six months they were back.
What is more worrying is that when a commuter confronts an encroacher, it always ends into commotion.“There are scuffles between motorists and vendors almost every day,” said Agarwal.
Meanwhile, a senior SDMC official said the civic body conducts anti-encroachment drive from time to time. “We request the residents to contact us and we will look into the matter,” he said.