Editorial: Scientific management of traffic

We are almost in the last week of Ramadhan. Therefore, the coming week will witness an increased rush of vehicles and shoppers to all the main markets in the Srinagar City and other towns as well.

However, like the previous year’s this year too, the city and most of the market places will prove to be a nightmare for commuters as the authorities have time and again failed to provide a scientific traffic management plan, especially during the festivities days.

The situation on traffic front worsens in Srinagar immediately after the Durbar move shifts to the summer capital. Most of the time the city roads witness serpentine queues  of stranded vehicles and people are left wondering in their stranded vehicles beating the sweltering heat.

Even though lot has been written on the chaotic situation of traffic especially in Srinagar yet the traffic authorities fail to take any measures. 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 was 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.

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.

We have been stressing on implementing a scientific traffic plan for the city, but the suggestions have no takers. The traffic authorities need to train some of its officials who have been assigned to man the traffic on city roads so that a scientific approach is adopted to tackle the menace if traffic mismanagement.   

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