SRINAGAR: In a stern condemnation, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) has raised concerns over the ‘relentless harassment’ faced by vehicle owners, particularly shopkeepers and business establishments, at the hands of multiple agencies.
KCCI expressed deep dismay at the repeated incidents where vehicles parked on the roadside or outside establishments are subjected to unwarranted challans by more than one agency, causing significant distress and financial losses.
“The situation we are witnessing on our streets is deeply troubling,” read a press release. “Not only is it the traffic police, but also private agencies, private parking contractors, and smart city contractors who have taken it upon themselves to issue challans and impose fines for minor parking infractions. This has resulted in undue harassment for vehicle owners and shoppers, leading to a considerable decline in business for shopkeepers and business establishments.”
KCCI has been inundated with complaints about these acts, raising serious questions about the authority vested in these agencies. While the mandate of the Traffic Police to regulate traffic and enforce penalties is understood, the idea that private entities can take on such responsibilities is met with strong opposition.
“We have taken up this matter with various authorities and Srinagar Smart City officials, who have categorically denied delegating the authority to issue challans, impose fines, or lock vehicles parked on the roadside to any private agency,” the press release continued. “It is, therefore, imperative that the concerned Government Departments and Srinagar Smart City clarify the parking policy, especially if private agencies have been unlawfully empowered to impose fines and subject vehicle owners to harassment.”
KCCI also pointed out that there are numerous other pressing parking issues affecting shopkeepers, business establishments, and shoppers, which demand immediate attention from the relevant authorities.