Shortage of men, lack of support by other departments leaves traffic police struggling
SRINAGAR: As Eid rush to markets peaks, traffic police is struggling to ensure smooth movement for vehicles in Srinagar city as roads are clogged by street vendors and uncoordinated development works create multiple bottlenecks.
This is besides the severe shortage of men in traffic police. There are 500 traffic police men including constable, SPOs, and DSPs, says Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Shargun Shukla.
“We want to welcome people into the city, but I am extremely short of manpower. To cover the entire city, we have a requirement of about 3000 cops,” she says. However, she contends, that road area is more crucial to smooth traffic than manpower.
As more and more cars enter the market every month, many feel that traffic is in a mess. Vehicle full of passengers find themselves stranded in traffic jams, sometimes for hours. Pedestrians too find making tgeir way through stranded vehicles challenging. Traffic authorities say that other departments in the government share a major part of the blame.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader, Shukla said that her men were doing their best “to accommodate people”. But the traffic situation, she says, is grave because of because of other departments.
“My job is to give you a road to ply, but SMC is not giving the road to me in the first place. If they give place for street vendors, then why come onto the roads what traffic department (to remove them). Repeatedly I am telling Srinagar Municipal Corporation commissioner about that (the street vendors). He assures me he is doing (something),” Shukla says.
SMC is not the only department that creates hurdles in traffic management. “Simultaneously, every department starts working on roads – drainage work, road widening , macadamization,” Shukla says. “It is not feasible for the smooth traffic. If they complete one project and then follow with the other, we can manage things better,” she added.
While Traffic Police exhausts its energies to prevent bottlenecks and traffic jams, people find the driver’s attitude towards roads falling short of the basic civic conduct.
“We don’t park our vehicles in parking zone. We must avoid such kind of negligence as it leads to the suffering of commuters. People must understand that they are also responsible for traffic jam,” said Mubashir Ahmad, a resident of Lal Chowk.