Quepem locals irked by errant watermelon folk

 QUEPEM: Locals from Quepem, irked by the perennial parking mess and congested traffic, alleged that despite signboards erected in several places, watermelon vendors are occupying the two-wheeler parking place at the side of the main road leading to Cuncolim, thereby giving scooterists a tough time.
Over a year and a half ago, during the tenure of then Quepem municipal council chairman Manuel Colaco, the QMC had in a resolution decided to erect different types of signboards around town. The body has even hired an agency to prepare a parking masterplan, and paid it almost 30,000. The QMC then forwarded that plan to the deputy collector of Quepem to issue the notification.

Locals alleged that despite the QMC decision to erect signboard for an efficient parking system, the QMC is not enforcing the decision, and instead, the body collects sopo from watermelon vendors and allow them to occupy parking place which is reserved for two-wheelers.

Filomeno Pereira, a senior citizen, said, "Quepem is a central point for the people of Curchorem, Sanguem, Rivona and other villages for their official work, as all the important offices such deputy collector's office, are situated here. The traffic police do their duty only during the Sunday baazar, and during the rest of the week, only two traffic cops are seen performing their duties in front of the mamlatdar's office." Blaming the police for the failure to control traffic, he further said that the traffic police do not allow two-wheelers to park their vehicles in spaces reserved for four-wheeler parking, but they allow watermelon vendors to occupy two-wheelers parking space.

Another citizen, who declined to be identified, said, "The traffic police has failed to control traffic particularly the parking of the vehicles. The QMC has marked a roughly 150-metre long stretch of road as a buffer zone for 'no parking', starting from the Quepem market, as it is narrow and has a sharp curve. The stretch is accident prone and risks increase when mining trucks were plying. The traffic police allow heavy vehicles including trucks and buses to park along this stretch." [TOI]