Imagine the horror one undergoes while travelling from Jehangir Chowk to Lalarukh crossing in Lalchowk on a hot sultry day. The distance may not be more than 400 meters but it takes almost an hour to travel this distance with no u-turn or a right turn allowed either near the Ghantaghar of the Regal Chowk.
This is the situation of traffic in Srinagar City post the Durbar move as the traffic authorities have decided to leave the traffic at the mercy of God. The traffic on the most busy roads in most parts of the city reflects this scene with no respite in sight.
Even though lot has been written on the chaotic situation of traffic especially in Srinagar yet the traffic authorities fail to take any measure. The civil society too has been raising its pitch over the traffic mess, but to no avail.
However, like other issues that confront the common masses here it was the court which has to step in and order for restoring sanity. Just last month the Divisional Bench of the State High Court took cognizance of the chaotic situation created by indiscipline on the part of traffic control authorities of the entire state.
In a stern ruling the court has directed almost entire administrative structure of the state including the Traffic Police and Divisional Commission echelons to direct their immediate attention to various irregularities and remove them within shortest possible time.
The first dismaying observation made by the Court is that street vendors have eaten up not only the footpaths along the main streets in the cities of Srinagar and Jammu but have now begun to occupy even portions of general road thus hampering smooth flow of city traffic.
The court has ordered both wings of police and the Divisional Commissioner to ensure that the order of removing the street vending is implemented in letter and in spirit. The Chief Secretary has been asked to submit a status report on removal of these street vendors.
The second aspect of indiscipline is that private vehicles, three-wheelers and other carriers have arbitrarily made parking places on the main road side and thus they have become huge obstruction to the smooth flow f traffic.
The third indiscipline is that city buses are stopping at their will. There are no bus stops on short intervals nor are there visible sign boards for the bus stops. The Court has ordered that the Traffic Police should up sign boards and ensure that the buses stop only at the definite stops and not in midway.
The Court has also reiterated its previous order and asked the Commissioner Transport to ensure that physical check of vehicles is conducted once a year to issue roadworthy certificates for aged vehicles. There are many unregistered autos and taxis in the State and the Court has taken serious view of this lapse on the part of Road Traffic Department.
However, apart from these straight directions the courts order too has not been able to bring in the much needed respite to a common man who continues to suffer on account of the follies committed by the cops manning the traffic.
The traffic setup needs a holistic change in its way of looking at things and those measures need to be introduced which will show some results on ground. Let’s hope this time the traffic authorities listen to the peoples woes.