Road encroachment has become a continuous and a spontaneous process in both Srinagar and as well as major towns of Kashmir valley but the government does not make any serious effort to curb the growing menace of road encroachments permanently once forever. Reasons for this brute failure of the government show the failure of civic institutions and law enforcement in Kashmir valley. The authorities in Srinagar and major townships of Kashmir valley are always selective in imposing curbs on road encroachments as they sometimes impose curbs just to silence critics threatening public protests against the road encroachments but allow the encroachers to reoccupy the roads barely few months or weeks later. True it is that vendors continue pulling hand carts to sell vegetables, fruits and several goods of common use for the whole day on the encroached roads just to earn their livelihood and as such they are to be rehabilitated by the government in suitable commercial areas, but the basic fault lies with the government failing to permanently curb the menace of road encroachments in cities and towns across Jammu and Kashmir. It has been observed in the past that road encroachers were rehabilitated by the government by allotting them shops in commercial hubs in cities and towns to help them earn their livelihood, but within months and weeks new encroachers come to occupy the footpaths vacated by the rehabilitated encroachers. This way the process of road encroachments has become an unending menace and if not curbed permanently will continue to intensity of human and traffic congestion on roads in cities and towns day after and year after year.
The eviction of vendors from the commercial hub in Srinagar and major towns of Kashmir valley is no doubt a big challenge for both the traffic police and the civic authorities but there is no short cut to end the mess of road encroachments once for ever.
Interestingly the encroachment of roads and footpaths has become a never ending menace in commercial hubs in uptown Srinagar including Lal Chowk, Amirakadal, Jahangir Chowk, Mahraj Bazar, Goni Khan, Batmaloo and some other adjoining areas of the summer capital and the cause of increasing intensity in traffic chaos in these uptown areas is the movements of vendors who continue pulling their hand carts for selling vegetables, fruits and goods of common use on roads and footpaths throughout the day without facing any resistance from civic bodies or traffic cops . Unless and until the movements of the vendors in these uptown areas of Srinagar city and civil lines areas of the most of the major towns across Kashmir are not checked, the authorities can’t facilitate any remarkable improvement in the traffic regulation system. Better for the government to devise a permanent policy for curbing the growing menace of road encroachments in Kashmir as even naives can understand that once the road encroachment issue is permanently resolved, the authorities regulating the traffic movement in the civil lines area will themselves experience an improvement in the traffic regulation both in Srinagar city and major towns of Kashmir valley. The eviction of vendors from the commercial hub in Srinagar and major towns of Kashmir valley is no doubt a big challenge for both the traffic police and the civic authorities but there is no short cut to end the mess of road encroachments once forever.