The city’s markets have witnessed major traffic jams ahead of Diwali amid traders encroaching on an 8-10ft area outside their establishments and the lack of designated parking areas.

In some markets, vendors set up their stalls on the side of the roads, which further aggravated traffic jams.

In markets such as Jawahar Nagar Camp, Model Town Gol Market, Dugri, Field Ganj and Chaura Bazar, traders and street vendors have set up tents at the roadside, causing additional congestion when people stop their car for shopping.

Model Town resident Gurvansh Singh said it has even become difficult to enter the city’s markets by car in the evening. “Big traffic jams are observed in the markets due to the lack of parking spaces. If the administration cannot establish designated parking places in the markets or take measures against encroachments, the entry of cars should be stopped in the markets during the festive season,” Singh said.

The civic body’s proposal to establish temporary parking sites near markets during the festive season, which had been mooted a few years ago, did not see the light of day.

An MC official, requesting anonymity, said politicians and market associations increase pressure on the civic body during the festive season, forcing them to be soft on encroachments. Conducting anti-encroachment campaigns at this time of year also leads to scuffles between MC staff and traders, as the latter claim this is the time of year when they make most of their sales.

Meanwhile, residents demanded that MC teams be deployed to all markets in the city and that encroachments, which lead to bottlenecks, be removed immediately. A resident of Field Ganj, Taranjit Singh, said that during rush hour it becomes difficult to cross the main road of Field Ganj even on a two-wheeler due to encroachments and traffic jams. “Authorities should find a solution to the problem, because ambulances are also stuck in traffic jams and it wastes a lot of time,” he said.

Meanwhile, MC co-commissioner Kulpreet Singh said anti-encroachment campaigns were being waged in the city. “As it is festival season, some relaxation is being given to traders provided the stalls do not create bottlenecks. MC crews are taking strict measures against encroachments so that the flow of traffic is not disrupted,” he said.