BERHAMPUR: Encroachment of roads by makeshift shops and unauthorised parking have compounded the traffic woes of residents of Silk City. While the menace has assumed alarming proportions by causing massive traffic jams at regular intervals, the authorities concerned remain indifferent to the situation.
Unauthorised shops mostly dot narrow roads that emerge from the arterial stretches. These illegal structures encroach roads which often lead to traffic snarls and accidents. The stretches from Town Hall to Khallikote University Chowk, Annapurna Chowk, SNT Road, Sana Bazaar to Bada Bazaar Road and Tata Benz to Kamapalli Chowk are crowded with vendors and hawkers who are a huge hit among shoppers.
These markets, which have been operating for years, are popular shopping destination for people from neighbouring areas. Every day, both sides of these roads come alive just before office hours and the rush continues till 10 pm in the night. However, the markets eat up road space making it difficult to commute on these stretches. Parking of vehicles by shoppers also worsens the traffic situation. Residents complained that while the problem has been persisting since long, the authorities are yet to come up with any solution. It is a nightmare for office-goers and students to commute on these roads.The administration should do something to ease traffic congestion soon, they said.
Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) and traffic police claim that encroachments on roads are removed regularly. However, the encroachers get back into business hardly a couple of hours after the eviction drives.
Last year, BeMC declared the 1-km stretch from Kamapalli railway overbridge to Tata Benz Chowk as a ‘No Parking Zone’ to tackle traffic congestion. However, illegal parking in front of shops continues to derail traffic on the two-lane road, considered one of the busiest in the city.
The demolished old fish market at Kamapalli was converted into a parking place. Shoppers and vendors used the parking place for a couple of days before going back to their old ways due to lack of regular enforcement by traffic police.
On Thursday, traffic on Town Hall-Khallikote College Road came to a grinding halt due to unauthorised parking. Though the congestion was cleared after much efforts by the traffic police, the unauthorised parking still continued.