UT home secretary Anurag Agarwal has made it clear that no stalls will be allowed to be set up in the parking lots of Sector 15, 19, 22 and other city markets during the ongoing festival season.
Talking to HT, the home secretary said the UT police have been told to remove the stalls from the parking lots so that people can park their vehicles. The development is significant as the UT traffic police used to write every year to the MC not to allow stalls in the parking lots, but the decision is being implemented by the authorities concerned for the first time.
The home secretary said the focus is on the Sector 15, 19 and 22 markets, but efforts will be made to implement the decision throughout the city. “Why should residents be put to inconvenience and told to park vehicles at a distance when there are parking lots in the markets?” he asked.
“If the parking lots are full to capacity, some other areas should be earmarked in the markets’ vicinity for residents to avoid traffic congestion on roads. We would like to set an example this festive season and come up with a permanent solution,” he added.
The home secretary on Saturday also asked SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill to implement the orders and get the stalls removed in Sector 22 parking lots.
Meanwhile, mayor Poonam Sharma believes there should be a solution in the interest of both traders and residents. “The decision should not affect profit of traders too. These are only a few days in a year when traders or businessmen make profits. Even the vendors putting up stalls in the markets earn only during the festival season. We will definitely come out with a solution. I will take up the issue with the administration too,” she added.
The home secretary had asked the MC commissioner to conduct a probe after the stalls came up in Sector 19 and 22 parking lots during Dussehra and take action against negligent officials.
President of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal Charanjiv Singh said, “The traders are ready to abide by the administration’s orders. For the convenience of the residents, traders will park their vehicles behind the markets or in alternative lots during this festival season.”