The traffic police seem to be selective in letting shop keepers park vehicles along main roads while fining customers to those shops.
Hyderabad: It seems that the Hyderabad Traffic Police has a soft corner for shop owners who park their vehicles (four-wheelers) in front of their shops on main roads all day long, for they immediately react when customers or visitors park their vehicle even for a short time. While the recovery van carries away such two-wheelers, they promptly clamp the four wheelers.
Citizens complain that in several areas like Basheerbagh, and Nampally, whole lanes of the carriageway have been allowed for this kind of selective parking, leading to severe choking of traffic. Sometimes, big-sized SUVs are diagonally parked for convenience and protrude further into the moving traffic.
M Mrityunjayan Reddy, who drives along the Nampally main road frequently, said, “I am engaged with a private travels company. I have to pick and drop commuters to the Nampally Railway Station. It takes me 15 minutes to half-an-hour for the short distance from here to Abids.”
“The traffic police at the signal can see only vehicles parked by customers and visitors on this road. This shows that the traffic police is ‘managed’ by these shop owners. The shops here should be asked to arrange parking space instead of inconveniencing the public,” Chandrashekhar another motorists said.
At Basheerbagh, commuters are facing a similar problem with parking being allowed beside a flyover. The commissioner’s office is not far from the bottleneck and traffic constables managing the traffic there remain mute spectators. When asked, a constable on duty said he did not think it was a problem since his seniors never wrote out challans against vehicles parked there.
Shop owners from various commercial areas defended their action saying that they had obtained permission from the GHMC for parking their vehicles on the roads.
“Many of the shops do not have sufficient parking space. Even those who do have parking facilities prefer to park their vehicles right in front of their shops for convenience,” a police official said.
A sub-inspector of traffic police said, “The liberal parking permission to shop keepers is given by civic authorities on several arterial roads in commercial areas like Punjagutta, Abids, Chikkadpally, Dilshuknagar, Ameerpet and Charminar. We have asked them not to allow diagonal parking in these areas”.
When the sub-inspector was asked why they challan those who park vehicle for a moment or two, he replied, “The motorists’ excuse for violating this rule is that they park their vehicles for ‘just a few minutes’, but what they do not realise is that these few minutes are enough to stagnate traffic, which could take a long time to clear.”
Most shopping complexes and malls have parking provisions for their customers, but not for autos. Hyderabad Central is one such example where one can see autos hovering in the area in front of it causing nuisance to the traffic.
“People visiting malls need these autos. It becomes difficult for us to clear the area permanently,” a traffic policeman at Panjagutta said.
Unavailability of parking space in most business establishments could be a major reason that forces motorists to park haphazardly. Unauthorised parking has become a major concern for traffic managers and repeated special drives have been launched to provide free carriageway.