The traffic police have miserably failed in clearing service lanes of vehicles parked by several hotels, restaurants and other business establishments in the city. Though they had a “plan to clear service lanes a month ago”, nothing has been done so far and the problem remains as it was.
It is not only one or two hotels in the city that have encroached upon the service lanes and area in front of their buildings, but almost all hotels have done the same. Even reputed hotels have encroached roads and service lanes, hindering the flow of traffic. This also results in haphazard parking by those visiting these hotels.
Most of the hotels are using service lanes for parking, where guards assist visitors park their vehicles. A month ago, when HT reported about the situation, the traffic police had assured that the lanes would be cleared within one week. However, according to popular sentiment, the traffic police were busy issuing challans to residents rather than removing encroachments, which were allegedly made by a powerful lobby of hoteliers and restaurateurs.
Surinder Singh, a shop owner at Model Town, said most hotels have not built parking for the visitors and guests as a result they are forced to park vehicles on roads and service lanes, thus blocking these areas. “This has resulted in different traffic problems for the city as a result of which the vehicles are always crawling at a snail's pace,” said Singh. He added that though the traffic police personnel never leave a chance to challan anyone, they have failed in ensuring a smooth movement of traffic in the city.
Some prominent hotels that have encroached upon the service lanes include Maharaja Regency, Park Plaza and Friends Regency. On the other hand, there are malls, including MBD Neopolis and Westend, where visitors also park their vehicles in service lanes.
Traffic inspector Beant Juneja said a lot of work is pending for clearing the service lanes. “There are many obstructions in service lanes, including electricity poles and trees, that need to be cleared off. However, we need the help of the municipal corporation and electricity department before these lanes are made operational,” he said.
Juneja said, “Only after all the obstructions are removed, we would start drive against parking in these service lanes.”