In order to decongest busy streets and main roads across the winter capital city, Jammu Municipal Corporation had launched an ambitious project of creating special Rehri Zones across the main city centres in 2015.
The aim was to offer separate space to those selling different items using mobile carts and at the same time create more space in busy market areas for smooth flow of traffic.
The locations were chosen keeping in view the accessibility of these zones and easy movement of customers from their homes.
According to official sources, around 40 spots were identified for creation of Rehri Zones but less than 20 spots were developed while work on the others was put on hold. But it appears even after creating more than one dozen zones in Jammu city, JMC authorities have lost steam and failed to implement their own flagship programme meant for the better management of traffic on the roads.
Some of the existing Rehri Zones are either used as parking lots or have been converted into godowns by transport companies, who openly violate norms and park long route buses and trucks and load goods at these zones.
It is no secret these mobile carts are parked haphazardly and add to the miseries of motorists during peak hours. Mushrooming of these mobile carts also pose a risk, especially in crowded market places as regulating their movement becomes a tedious process for various law enforcing agencies.
The traffic police authorities and other State government agencies exploit owners of these mobile carts and apparently allow them to remain stationed for their own vested interest. Even if they are dislodged from their permanent places, these mobile carts often return to run their businesses after a brief gap.
These mobile carts are removed from their locations only during the visit of VVIPs.
The JMC authorities on their part have complained that law enforcement agencies shy away from acting tough against these mobile carts and unless these agencies are on the same page the concept of Rehri Zones cannot be successfully implemented.
A senior JMC officer claimed, “We can only implement the concept if all other agencies come out in support of JMC”. He said they need police support on ground zero when these mobile carts are shifted to Rehri Zones, as they resist such attempts.