On the Traffic Mess in the Heart of the City: Can it ever be Managed?

On the Traffic Mess in the Heart of the City: Can it ever be Managed?
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ABRAR REYAZ

The traffic blockades in the heart of our City centre, Lal Chowk and elsewhere not only create mess, disorder, chaos, ruckus, problems and incommode to commuters and pedestrians but afre unbearable to people stranded in vehicles and drivers of vehicles alike. In these hot summer days, with scorching, and singed heat above our heads, where the temperature has traversed thirty six mark, one may easily feel the quantum of miserable and pitiful upshot on common people who get stranded in jams. I pray no one gets caught in a jam, never. Sometimes a vehicle gets stranded and marooned for hours. The years of management could do little or nothing. There is turbulent increase in vehicles from past years. Why tumultuous? Well, because of lack of management. On an average, 50,000 vehicles are added and bestowed to the road traffic.
There is also not adequate and sufficient parking facility available for private vehicles. Cars can be seen hanging, resting and parking at waysides. The meager and scanty traffic police force adds to the woes. On the other hand, babus and politically prestigious people get away with jams and are lead to go wherever they like. The traffic police man will appear to you, as soon as, there is a cavalcade of a government minister.
Everybody wants street vendors to discontinue encroach and impinge footpaths. It is seen as a substantial step to control traffic jams and smooth functioning of traffic. Well, it may lead to control to some extent. The quick outcome would be that the footpaths would be made open and accessible for common public. Does merely occupation of road by common people, walking and hanging around on road create traffic disorder? What about those who park vehicles at roadsides?
It is responsibility and duty of every one of us to make sure that we don’t create hurdles for others, and don’t make others suffer by our commissions or omissions. We must be honest in our approach. We need to change our mindset and stop being selfish and self-seeking. But the question is: Where would one park vehicle when you won’t find any parking slot? Are two or three parking slots enough for hundreds of vehicles in the city centre – Lal Chowk and outskirts? Is there enough space for parking? The shopkeepers, their customers have no other place and second choice other than to park the vehicle in front of shop itself. That badly affects smooth flow of traffic and the modus operandi of other people gets affected.
The experiment in Batamaloo has proved fruitful, productive and generative. It has borne good results. One can easily palpably feel the difference there now. The shifting of bus stand has worked semi permanent. There is now hassle-free traffic flow. Government can do the same experiment in Lal Chowk. Firstly, shift the sumo stands to somewhere else. These places should be converted into parking slots. Secondly, if that is not possible, authorities should find other subsidiary or auxiliary places that could be converted for such exercise. Moreover, particular places should be denominated as stops for matadors and buses. The matadors have frequent habit of stopping after covering merely and hardly few distances. That has to be prevented. Thousands of unregulated sumo vehicles without any registration with sumo stands are running in the city. There can be sighing of relief only, when there is honesty, dedication and pessimist attitude towards solving the traffic problem. This problem won’t be solved by one way. It is a two way process. Governmental efforts won’t work alone, unless we change our self-seeking attitude.

The author is a student of Law at Department of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir. He blogs at: AbrarReyaz.wordpress.com and can be reached at: abrar_reyaz@live.com