Srinagar 23 January (KNB): Residents of Magarmal Bagh Batamaloo are frustrated due to the illegal parking by visitors, attendants to patients of the ‘Shifa Medical Centre’, on the by-lane of the area.
According to the residents the Shifa Medical Hospital lacks proper parking facility, which forces it’s visitors/patients and their attendants to park vehicles on the road as well as outside their homes causing them immense problems over the years.
“Wrong parking has been an issue since the establishment of this hospital as the visitors, patients and their attendants do not care about the trouble they are causing us by illegally parking their vehicles on the connecting road,” an elderly resident of Magarmal Bagh told Kashmir News Bureau.
He said, “Words can barely explain the frustration that the unethical parking has caused to the residents of this locality,” adding that at times we have emergency situations and are more worried about the traffic and parked vehicles than the problem itself.
Shifa Medical Centre is located along the by-lane of a Residential hub (Magarmal Bagh) in Sherghari area. Hundreds of residents commute through the by-lane which connects Batmaloo to Saraibal area of Srinagar.
“I’ve been travelling on this route throughout my 29 years of life. I had never been late to my place of work until the medical centre was established. I’m not going to point a finger at the purpose of this establishment but it is a matter of concern that whosoever visits the hospital should be provided a proper parking space, which in this case has not at all been done,” Sameer Dar, a resident of Batmaloo said.
He added, “A few days ago, I had some important work but got stuck outside the hospital for almost an hour because of the illegally parked vehicles on the road. The commuters got frustrated due to the irresponsible management of the medical centre, which eventually caused uproar in the locality. We even tried to reach out to the concerned authority of the hospital, but they paid no heed.
Dar further said, “there is an inadequate parking facility provided by the Medical Centre but more importantly, how on earth the establishment was allowed to be constructed in a residential area, should be the main question.”
The lane is narrow at several places, which most probably would not cause any inconvenience to commuters, if there were no illegal parking done.
An elder woman of the locality said that she has a married daughter and whenever her relatives visit them, she gets embarrassed because they barely find any space to park their vehicles.
“They (visitors of the Medical Centre) do not even spare the space outside the entrance of our homes. There are vehicles parked outside our main gates and whenever we have guests they barely find any space to park their vehicles, which at times becomes an embarrassing scenario,” She said.
She also said that during the recent heavy snowfall, Srinagar Municipal Corporation were conducting a snow clearance drive but were not able to clear the interior lanes of the locality because of the illegally parked vehicles.
Another local of the area told KNB, “Indeed wrong parking has become a major issue in the locality but who gave them (Medical Centre) the permission to establish it in this residential area?”
When asked if they had put forth the matter to the J&K Administration, he replied yes! and immediately asked, “Do you think our voice is more powerful than the approach of the people heading such facilities?”
Speaking to Kashmir News Bureau, manager of the Shifa Medical Centre, Nawaz Ashraf denied the problem and said that traffic congestion does not take place because of the visitors of Shifa Medical Centre.
“We have put our men (guards) at the entrance to ensure that our visitors use the parking space as well to make sure that commuters pass by without any inconvenience. I admit, a year ago we did not have a proper parking facility but now we have two and we are trying our best to ensure convenience to the commuters and residents of the area,” he said.
He said that at times there is a heavy rush of patients, who park their vehicles on the road in a hurry but still the guards on job try to take care of the situation.
Regarding the fact that the Medical Centre is located in a residential area, he responded that they provide discount-based services to the residents of Magarmal Bagh.
He went on to say that there are other medical clinics nearby, who do not have any parking facility.
He added that it is not just the patients/attendants visiting their medical centre, who park their vehicles on the road, but mostly the visitors of other medical clinics located nearby.
In the vicinity of Shifa Medical Centre, there are two medical clinics, one of them headed by Dr Javaid Chaudhry, a paediatrician and another clinic headed by Dr Faisal, a pulmonologist.
About illegal parking and lack of proper parking area allotted for his visitors, Dr Javaid Chaudhry said that not many patients visit him and small but sufficient parking space has been provided for them.
He said, “I’ve very few patients visiting me and have provided them the space for parking their vehicles. I know the parking space is small, but it is sufficient for few patients visiting my clinic.”
He further said that residents of the area have placed big stones around their houses, which abuts on the by-lane, causing the area of the road to narrow down. Therefore, resulting in traffic jams hence creating difficulties in commuting through the area. (KNB)