Street vendors choke road outside District Hospital Pulwama
Street vendors overwhelm District Hospital Pulwama, turning the road into a labyrinth of push-carts and load carriers

PULWAMA — The road leading to District Hospital Pulwama in the south Kashmir district has turned into a chaotic scene as street vendors occupy the space, causing immense inconvenience to both patients and traffic.

The road, meant to provide smooth access to the main healthcare facility, has become cluttered with three-wheeler load carriers and push-carts selling fruits and other goods. This occupation not only obstructs the movement of vehicles but also hampers emergency services, leading to potential delays in critical patient care.

The situation is particularly dire on holidays and Sundays when street vendors take advantage of what they perceive as a lack of vigilance from the district administration. Ignoring regulations and moral obligations, they indiscriminately park their push-carts, further shrinking the already congested road and exacerbating traffic congestion, ultimately resulting in frustrating traffic jams.

Local residents and patients visiting the hospital express their dissatisfaction with the ongoing predicament. “It’s a nightmare to navigate through the road filled with street vendors. As if dealing with health issues isn’t stressful enough, we are now subjected to additional hurdles due to the traffic congestion caused by these unauthorized vendors,” complains Suhail Mir, a patient’s relative.

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Another local resident, Jahangeer Bhat, voices his concerns, saying, “The district hospital is a crucial healthcare facility, and it is disheartening to witness its surroundings in such disarray. It is imperative for the district administration to address this issue promptly for the well-being of both patients and the general public.”

When contacted, DySP Traffic, Mudasir Tramboo said that the mandate of Traffic Police is to enforce traffic laws and manage traffic. “It is not our mandate to move the street vendors from one place to another. However, we can definitely take action against wrong parking,” he added.

“We have booked a few auto wallas. And for the last week, the road has been largely clear of encroachment. The shopkeepers of the area are witness to it,” Owais Mushtaq (JKAS), Executive Officer (Incharge), Municipal Committee Pulwama said while reacting to the complaints.

Responding to the prevailing situation, the President of Municipal Council Pulwama, Bilal Ahmad Rather assured swift action to alleviate the problem.

While speaking to The Kashmir Pulse, he affirms, “We acknowledge the inconvenience faced by patients and commuters due to the presence of street vendors outside the District Hospital Pulwama. We are committed to resolving this issue promptly and have already taken action against them. We will ensure strict enforcement of regulations to restore the smooth flow of traffic and provide an unhindered passage for patients accessing the hospital.”

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Another district official, who didn’t want to be named, also emphasizes the importance of adhering to established norms, stating, “The district administration will work in coordination with concerned authorities to implement effective measures that strike a balance between the needs of street vendors and the welfare of the public. We aim to create a harmonious environment where the road outside the District Hospital Pulwama remains free from any obstructions, allowing uninterrupted movement of traffic and ensuring the well-being of patients.”

As patients continue to face hardships and traffic woes persist outside the District Hospital Pulwama, local residents hope that the district administration’s assurance translates into tangible actions, bringing about a resolution to this pressing issue.

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