With big malls coming up in the Industrial Area of Chandigarh,the traffic congestion they bring along creates chaos not only for the traffic police but also for those working in the adjoining areas.
Pointing towards his bleeding toe,an irked Ram Gulab Sharma said,Because there is a car parked outside the shop,I had to jump over the stones to make my way here, he adds,fiddling with his tools outside Amit Arts,a printing shop which neighbours Elante Mall. On weekends,the road outside his shop is always crammed with vehicles parked by visitors to the mall,he complains.
The heavy rush at the mall on Fridays and weekends has caused the neighbouring shops in Industrial Area to suffer. My employer has to park his car a kilometre away because the area outside his shop is already taken up by some or the other mall visitor on weekends. This goes for all everybody with vehicles in my lane of shops,said a worker at one of the shops in Phase 1,where Elante Mall is located.
The workers and the industrialists in the area are not the only ones irked by the four-month old mall. I dont get the time to rest even on a public holiday because of people coming to visit Elante,said a traffic police official on duty outside the mall.
Despite the Punjab and Haryana High Court order last year prohibiting car parking at road berms in Industrial Area,many vehicles can be seen lined up to a stretch during the weekend. When asked about the same,the traffic police official said,Our recovery vans tow away more than 20 cars on a daily basis. The vans cannot move the vehicle which is in the middle of the lane,so 20 to 25 is the maximum we can pull off. It is the little money that people dont want to pay for parking and they use the road as per their wish,he adds,pointing to the no-parking signboards.
The Traffic Department finds itself struggling to keep up with the weekend traffic congestion.
We have around seven people working around Elante alone,but we have to deploy more force and patrolling vehicles on weekends. The footfall is too high to manage for us alone,thus the irregularities. With more and more vehicles coming here,we can only challan a hundred or so, said SP (Traffic) Maneesh Chaudhary.
There are major engineering changes that need to be made. Hence,we have requested the UT Administration to make the surrounding roads one-way and install dividers at certain places. We also want the mall authorities to put their hi-tech hydraulic parking to use he added.