In the absence of proper parking spaces in Pathankot, haphazardly parked vehicles are creating traffic chaos in almost all localities of the town everyday.
Residents have to deal with traffic snarls to reach their destinations due to haphazardly parked vehicles near every establishment, including the government-owned offices and banks.
In the past few years, the number of vehicles in the town has multiplied, with over one lakh vehicles, including vehicles coming to Pathankot, passing through the town daily. Bedsides local vehicles, vehicles from other areas of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, and a large number of army vehicles pass through the town.
In emergency, ambulances and fire tenders stuck in traffic jams caused by wrongly-parked vehicles, causing loss of man and material.
However, despite the strategic importance of the town, the district administration and the municipal corporation (MC) remained indifferent and hardly tried to do away with the chronic problem by providing parking slots in busy localities such as markets and government offices.
The only parking slot, planned by the administration at Balmiki Chowk, is yet to be completed. Even as it is completed, it won’t solve the problem, as the town needs many such parking slots in all those localities where the traffic is heavy.
“Daily commuters like me bear the brunt of traffic snarls due to haphazardly-parked vehicles in almost all parts of the town. Moreover, driving four-wheelers in the town is a nightmare, as you travel only a few metres in an hour,” claimed, Neeraj Kumar, a resident of Patel Nagar, adding, proper parking slots in different areas can ease the traffic.
Bharat Mahajan, president, of the Pathankot Beopar Mandal, said: “Though traders ask customers to park their vehicles in right manner, in the absence of proper parking at various marketplaces they can’t do much.”
Mayor Anil Vasudeva, however, said: “I will be holding a meeting with the traders to seek their cooperation in solving the problem.”
Besides, he said, he would urge senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rakesh Kaushal to deploy more traffic cops to ensure proper parking of vehicles.
He said he would also identify new sites for the construction of parking slots.