Ephemeral Approach?

Ephemeral Approach?
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Basant Rath’s technique appears to be predicated upon creating an effect and an aura around him and his office through deft and astute use of almost all forms of the media and employ targeted interventions to amplify his motto and message: that, he will not countenance any traffic violations and will go after anyone violating traffic rules and regulations. Most striking is his use of the social media. In this day and age, the ubiquity and ease of access of social media is a sure short guarantee for amplification of a message or an idea. So potent is social media these days that it is widely believed that Russia made such deft use of this form of the media to tilt the United States’ presidential elections. Any, returning to the theme of Rath and the traffic mess in Kashmir, while there has been some visible difference in traffic management in Kashmir, it is not clear how Rath can sustain the approach peculiar to him. Traffic in Kashmir and the mess thereof stems from a plethora of factors which are, to use the jargon of economics, both demand side and supply side. On the supply side, the problem(s) arise from easy disbursal of driving licenses (some of this is a pure and sheer scam). Lax theoretical tests or exams, complemented by lackadaisical practical driving tests mean that motorists who get driving licenses hit the road(s) with very scant or minimal understanding of traffic rules and regulations. This is one major factor which creates traffic mess in Kashmir. On the demand side, on account, of relative economic growth and development in Kashmir, if the baseline and time line is held constant at about three prior decades, there has been a drastic increase in vehicle ownership which has added stress to the extant road infrastructure. The coping up capacity of the extant infrastructure is under tremendous strain. This is overlaid by the capacity of the traffic department; the traffic cop to people density or ratio is, in all likelihood disproportionate. Given all these factors and aspects, can Rath streamline traffic management in Kashmir leading to more effective and efficient outcomes? The remains unclear, at this point in time but the weight of factors and evidence suggests that unless a holistic view and approach is undertaken to render traffic in Kashmir more streamlined and correspond to prudent and effective traffic management, targeted interventions complemented by use of media to amplify the messages might not be sustainable.

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