SRINAGAR: Has there been any substantial expansion of roads in Jammu and Kashmir during the past decade? Hardly. But the existing roads have to bear the additional burden of a whopping 162.8% increase in vehicular population during this time, an official report said.
As against 5,23,543 vehicles, both public and private, registered in 2006, the number has surged to 1,375,888 as on March 2016, reveals the latest economic survey.
During one year alone (March 2015 to March 2016), the state has witnesses registrations of 131,617 new vehicles, both two-wheelers and four-wheelers, as against 111,194 during the corresponding time previous year.
The report reveals that there has been an addition of 124,049 motor cycles and scooters from March 2014 to March 2016 while 83937 private cars have been added up during the corresponding period.
Similarly, the registration of large and mini buses has gone up with 28,776 registered as on March 2014 and 30486 on ending March 2016.
The number of registered taxies as on March 2014 was 39060, increasing to 40660 in March 2015 and 42275 in March 2016. There has also been addition of 700 trucks from March 2015 to March 2016 while the number of registered jeeps amplified from 13362 to 14356 during the corresponding year. Auto rickshaws and tempos too have piled up from 51041 registered in March 2014 to 57851 as on Mach 2016 while tractor population has increased from 23800 to 24446, trailers from 763 to 801 while ‘other vehicles’ from 32587 to 52147 during the corresponding two years.
The new vehicles use the existing road space which instead of witnessing an expansion is actually shrinking because of encroachments, resulting in chaos on roads.
The government survey has also vouched for widening of existing road network as “inevitable” due to fast growing road traffic.
It also highlights that road surface requires renewal coat after a cycle of 4-5 years to prevent deterioration of pavements.
According to a senior officer of the state’s transport department, there has been a net increase in vehicular population by 10% approximately. He, however, said that while the preponderance of probability of accidents also should have increased by 10%, “which clearly is not the case.”
Referring to the figures for the last three years, he said 5861 accidents were reported in
2014, 5836 in 2015 and in 2016, upto October, there were 4572 accidents.
“The reduction in accidents is the result of effective enforcement of traffic laws. Moreover, the Traffic Police has identified certain accident causing traffic violations which include overloading, over speeding, roof top loading, use of mobile phones while driving, triple riding on two-wheelers, not using of crash helmet on two-wheelers and drunken driving etc,” he said. The traffic department, he said, has fined as many as 6,10,947 violators from January 1 to ending November 2016, realizing amounts of Rs. 11,20,60,649 from them.