Editorial: Too burdening

The transport system is in a mess in Kashmir Valley as the road network is so hard pressed that it is gasping for breath. The roads across the Valley have been unable to deal with the ever expanding number of vehicles and the lack of planning by the authorities to deal with the issue has multiplied the problem.
According to the figures released by the Government of India’s Road Transport and Highway Ministry, the state of Jammu and Kashmir registered about 1.64 lakh vehicles and more than 90 percent of these new vehicles are cars and motorcycles, showing a huge trend of rise in private transport.
To be precise, Jammu and Kashmir has added more than 1.51 lakh private cars and motorcycles to its roads last year.
Out of total 1,63,849 new registered vehicles, 52,657 were cars while number of motorcycles and scooties was 98,443. Remaining 12 thousand where commercial vehicles including trucks, trippers, auto rickshaws with only 334 buses and minibuses, the main form of the public transport in the state.
This shows a steep increase compared to 2016 when 1,12,776 lakh vehicles were registered which included 35822 motorbikes and 67117 cars.
According to official figures the total number of vehicles on Kashmir roads has touched 6.46 lakh which includes two-wheelers, three-wheelers, cars and commercial vehicles as well. But the all important question is- are we having a road network that will suffice the ever increasing number of vehicles.
The commuters, both rural and urban are a hapless lot in the state. Various issues have been plaguing the traffic and the transport system in the state and these issues have not been addressed.
Road mishaps, traffic mismanagement and other ills of the transport sector have been hogging the headlines for many years now. Hardly a day passes off when newspapers do not report traffic woes, road mishaps and the bad condition of roads and mismanagement in this sphere.
What is being witnessed that the government too is not taking a holistic view on the issue. Traffic and transport woes have to be dealt with various agencies coming together and form a scientific approach and plan.
The Transport, Traffic Police and Municipal Corporations and town area committees need to be tasked for this important assignment together so that a policy is arrived at where the people across the board can heave a sigh of relief.
But the question is whether the Transport Department is really and sincerely prepared to bring about drastic reforms in its functionality and plan for modernization of urban transport and help in improving the scenario at the rural level.
The government needs to wake up on this crucial issue as on the one hand it is pressing hard to get Jammu and Srinagar cities on the smart city list, but on the other hand the government is not willing to do some ground work and initiate some changes for the betterment of the system that is in a total mess.

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