Nagpur: Faced with the nagging problem of congestion, the city police have banned vehicles on Sitabuldi Main Road from 4 pm to 8 pm. The Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sarang Awad has marked the Sitabuldi Main Road as ‘no parking and no vehicle zone’ for the said period daily. However, the decision drew flak from shopkeepers who pointed out that instead of taking action against illegal hawkers, the cops have made the Sitabuldi traders scapegoat.
A notification to this effect stated that Diwali festival will be celebrated on November 14 and Sitabuldi being a commercial hub, shoppers from the city as well as neighbouring towns visit the city especially this market. The heavy rush of shoppers with vehicles causes chaos during the festive period. Empowering relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act, the DCP restricted both movement and parking of vehicles on Sitabuldi Main Road including Hanuman Lane to Variety Square, Modi Lanes 1, 2 and 3.
Diversions for vehicles using this stretch have been made to Jhansi Rani Square to Panchsheel Square to Mehadiya Square (Dhantoli) or Rahate Colony Road, Jhansi Rani Square to Variety Square to Morris College T-Point and Manas Square road. This notification will be in force from November 9 to 18 from 4 pm to 10 pm. The traffic police have appealed to shoppers to park their vehicles in parking places available near Yashwant Stadium, Netaji Market, Soni Galli, NIT Plaza or at private parking lots available at many places in Sitabuldi area.
The police move was criticised by the Sitabuldi traders. Instead of taking action against hawkers and shifting them elsewhere, the authorities are making the shopkeepers a scapegoat, said a shopkeeper.
“Due to lack of parking space, customers face inconvenience and shopkeepers are losing their clients. People looking to enter the main road are diverted to other roads. In the absence of parking alternatives, how can shoppers be disallowed on this road,” asked some shopkeepers.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already hit the shopkeepers hard as they have suffered huge losses for the last 8 months and now when they were expecting better times this action has put them in the dock, the shopkeepers said.