SMC fails to streamline roadside parking


Srinagar municipal corporation (SMC) has come under severe criticism for failing to streamline roadside parking in the summer capital. 
While SMC authorities are removing street vendors from the roadsides to prevent traffic jam, they have converted narrow and congested spaces into roadside parking slots. 
SMC has designated paid parking spaces at busy Residency Road which otherwise are used by shoppers to park their vehicles demarcated by yellow line for a short period. 
The move is also being opposed by some local traders who say “paid parking for short time shoppers is not a good idea.” 
SMC has designated roadside paid parking at around 40 places while they have also identified 2000 places to be used as street parking spaces in the summer capital.
Some of the parking spots include Residency Road, MA Road, Gaw Kadal, GPO Lane, Rajbagh, Magarmal Bagh, Exhibition crossing Shaheed Gunj, Old Secretariat, Bemina and Karan Nagar.
“There had been demand from the general public about designated roadside paid parking. However, what made things worse is that authorities have not applied the mind while identifying the space,” said Ali Muhammad a commuter.
He added that it was important to check feasibility before declaring any space as paid parking. Commuters said that there are few places which must be designated as roadside parking but should not be chargeable.
One of the traders at Residency Road, who wished not to be named, said that the people are charged even if they park car for their five seconds inside the yellow line.
“The move irritates the shoppers who just have to stay for just five minutes inside the shop. If mind is not applied while taking decisions, we fear that authorities may start charging from pedestrians for waiting for bus at roadside,” he said. 
Similarly, the commuters said that at few places, the authorities are removing street vendors and allowing parking. “How this is going to help in smooth regulation of traffic? The space being freed from encroachers under High Court directions is meant to ensure enough space for smooth traffic regulation. Later, the authorities choke the space again by allowing roadside parking at these places,” said Adil Ahmad, a commuter at Hari Singh High Street.
While the commuters said that roadside paid parking at various places in city is good idea, however, they urged authorities not to charge at few places including at Residency Road.
They added that places where street vendors are removed should also not be used for parking cars as the same narrows the already congested space again.
SMC commissioner, Riyaz Ahmad Wani, did not respond to repeated calls for his comments.

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