SRINAGAR: Due to the massive traffic jams from last two days across the summer capital, Srinagar commuters had to face hard times as major roads had come to grinding halt.
The movement in city centre areas—including Jehangir Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Residency Road, Moulana Azad Road, Regal Chowk, TRC, Polo View, and Ram Bag—came to halt in morning and the roads remained busy for the entire day.
Other roads leading towards downtown and out of Srinagar also saw the slowdown of traffic.
Commuters complained that they were stuck for hours at different places of the city as traffic was “moving at snail’s pace”.
“It took me more than one hour to reach Chanapora from Lal-Chowk,” said a commuter Feroz Ahmad.
Another commuter said that it took him fifteen minutes to just cross traffic signal at Hyderpora.
The massive traffic jam was witnessed from Monday morning and continued for the day. Same scenes were seen on Tuesday as hundreds of vehicles, knocking horns, were moving by inches, bumper to bumper.
Traffic halts were also reported on Srinagar-Baramulla highway and on the highway’s Srinagar-Anantnag stretch.
Some irked commuters also took to social networking sites showing their anger over the traffic mess.
“On way to an event in Sangrama and stuck on the “national highway” for what seems like an eternity! What anarchy! No sign of Traffic Police,” National Conference spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu wrote on Twitter.
Reacting to Mattu’s tweet senior Journalist Mufti Islah said that it is “torture” to travel in Srinagar. “Sympathies. Yesterday it was torture on Srinagar roads. From home to office, 100 minutes, 80 wasted on Rambagh to Pamposh,” Islah tweeted.
Commuters in Srinagar say that traffic jams have become a norm now.
“There is not a single day when I do not face traffic jam in the city it is really irritating to see that administration is not able to even regulate traffic,” said a commuter.
A resident of Lal Bazar Srinagar said that on Monday it took him one hour from Hawal to reach home on her scooty.
“We witnessed massive traffic on these two days,” said Jagjit Kumar, Inspector General of Police Traffic, Kashmir.
He asserted that the season is responsible for the traffic jams.
“This is the season of marriages and people from other places visit Srinagar city for shopping,” he said adding that rush to the secretariat is also adding traffic in the city.
“The secretariat is going to close down and there are only a few days left so more and more people are coming to Srinagar to visit offices to get work done that leads to extra burden,” he said.
Kumar expected that in coming days the commuters will feel relief.
Meanwhile, to check frequent traffic jams in city and started a process to improve urban transport services and infrastructure, authorities engaged a traffic advisor for Traffic planning and designing.
However, despite the tall claims of the administration regarding the measures taken for smooth run of traffic in Srinagar, roads in city doent give relief to people.
Construction of Jahangir-Chowk-Rambagh flyover, meant to provide smooth passage to commuters, has failed to get completed despite missing several deadlines. The lingering project is adding up woes of traffic regulation.
Traffic police, in order to increase man power, increased recruitment this year, despite that, commuters say they feel no relief.
Wrong parking at different places in Srinagar is also going unabated, commuters complain.
“As there was some function going on in the Banquet Hall, at MA road Srinagar, dozens of vehicles were parked outside on road hampering traffic movement,” a commuter said.