During the festive season, the traffic police have decided to declare some busy markets car-free zones to manage chaos. Sources said the decision has been taken as some markets, including sectors 15, 19 and 22, are badly choked with vehicles. This year, the traffic chaos is expected to be more because the Chandigarh administration has allowed street vendors who mostly occupy the parking lots. The decision is likely to come into force from the next weekend. However, the traders are already up in arms against the move.
Kamaljit Singh Panchi, a city trader, said the decision was not viable. “Already there is less space for parking. If certain slots are declared car free zones, it is going to create utter mess. This is not a feasible decision,” he said. He added that the market associations have hired security guards to manage the chaos within the market areas.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP), traffic, Shashank Anand said they have appealed to the traders to cooperate with the police. “For the traders, this decision will help their customers,” he said. Anil Vohra, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, said implementation of this decision was not possible and they would meet the SSP Traffic to discuss the issue. “It is alright if the traffic police ask the market associations to ensure that there is valet parking. But closing down slots completely is not possible. The customers will not come to those markets if this is implemented,” said Vohra.
Charanjiv Singh, chairman, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, said the Chandigarh administration should focus on creating additional parking slots in the busy areas. “There is already a slump in the market. Opening nearby schools and community centres is a feasible solution. Customers and even traders can park their vehicles there,” said Charanjiv.
To ensure no traffic chaos, the traffic police are also considering to have one way system at certain stretches where the rush is expected to be more. They have also decided to hire more cranes for towing wrongly-parked vehicles other than using more wheel clamps.
Previous years, too, the Chandigarh administration got government schools and community centres opened, but people did not prefer to park their vehicles there. Rather the vehicles are parked on the main road, leading to chaos. The situation is worst during the evening hours when additional traffic policemen deployed at the site too find it difficult to manage the chaos.