PESHAWAR - The shortage of vehicle parking facilities in most of the shopping markets in cantonment and city areas have irked Eid shoppers as the shopping malls were opened on Monday after a government imposed lockdown.

As less than a week was left in Eidul Fitr celebrations, Eid shopers started arriving to shopping markets in city, can­tonment and university road in large numbers by parking their vehicles mostly on roadsides due to lack of parking space, which caused traffic jams.

The easing of lockdown re­strictions and allowing of pas­sengers transport by KP Gov­ernment helped Eid shoppers of others districts to visit major shopping centres in Qisakhwani, cantonment, Tehkal, Jehangi­rabad and University Road in Peshawar to look for garments, readymade clothes and footwear besides others necessary items at affordable prices.

The people’s rush to these ar­eas and presence of public trans­port on the roads compounded the traffic jam problems.

As a result, majority of shop­pers were seen parking their ve­hicles on the main roads in front of shopping centres and arcades, resulting massive traffic jams during afternoon in Peshawar.

People were spending hours on roads due to traffic jams before reaching their destinations

The problem of car parking was one of the great challenge for police and district adminis­tration as the number of vehicles has started increasing in Pesha­war during last days of Ramadan and the situation is expected to worsen on Chand Raat.

These days, people were spending hours on roads due to massive traffic jams before reaching their respective desti­nations.

“Traffic jam was a major issue in Peshawar these days because of shortage of car parking facili­ties,” Misal Khan, said a retired Information Officer whose ve­hicle remained trapped in traffic mess at Qissa Khwani bazar for two and a half hours.

“Along with my family, I came from Pabbi Nowshera district to Peshawar for Eid shopping and spent about two hours on main Qissa Khwani road due to mas­sive traffic mess.”

He said most of people were not maintaining social distancing during shopping and make their loved ones vulnerable to become victims of fatal coronavirus.

He said that the threat of coro­navirus was still looming people as well as shopkeepers should adopt all precautionary mea­sures for safety of others. He said that those markets with no cars parking facilities and which did not follow SOPs should be sealed.

“Where are people expected to park their vehicles except on roads sides due to absence of car parking facilities in most of ma­jor arcades and shopping cen­tres in Peshawar,” said former Nazim Bahadar Khan after his car was trapped in traffic jam on Saddar Road.

“It takes two hours to park my car in a private parking lot, which is too far from the shop­ping center and mostly there is no empty space in the parking area,” Bahadar Khan said.

He said most private car parking owners were charging people exorbitantly, which also needed to be checked by the dis­trict administration.

He said most of contractors of private car parking are cur­rently charging Rs50 to Rs100 per vehicle that cannot be af­forded by middle class and low income groups.

The parking of cars on road­side reduces space for move­ment of vehicles, creating traf­fic mess and agony for the Eid shoppers.

“The rich people spend mil­lions of rupees on construction of plazas and shopping malls but did not pay attention to car park­ing facilities and resultantly not only their business affects but shoppers also suffer especially during Eid days,” he maintained.

He suggested that maps of all those shopping centres and plazas, which carried no proper parking facilities should not be passed and already existing ones should be closed unless pro­vided such facilities for people’s convenience.

He said this scenario gives the traffic police an opportunity to lift as much cars and motorcy­cles as possible and resultantly such practices often displeased Eid shoppers

He urged district administra­tion, Peshawar Development Au­thority and police to ensure car parking facilities in all major pla­zas and arcades for facilitation of people and strict action should be taken against violators.

The people also requested KP Govt to increase business time from existing 5p.m to 11p.m to enable them to complete their shopping with comfort.