1.5 lakh vehicles drive to Hazratbal in 12 days
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, Feb 27:Over 1.5 lakh vehicles, mostly private, ferried the devotees to the Hazratbal shrine to commemorate Eid-Milad-un Nabi (SAW), during the past 12 days, officials said Saturday.
Officials said during the past twelve days of Milad-un-Nabi celebrations, over 6 lakh devotees from across the Valley thronged the shrine on the City outskirts.
The Superintendent of Police Traffic Kashmir, Showkat Hussain told Greater Kashmir that since the 1st Rabi-ul Awaal over 6 lakhs devotees visited the Shrine in 1.5 lakh private vehicles, besides some 2000 passenger buses made no less than 8000 trips to Hazratbal.
“It was an arduous task to control the traffic but we managed to keep it moving. It is a different situation for us to manage traffic during religious occasions. We just concentrated on smooth flow of traffic,” the SP said.
On the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) today, the 12 Rabi-Awwal, thousands of people from across the Valley proceed to shrine while the traffic policemen had a tough time to maneuver traffic.
The SP Traffic said the 60 traffic constables led by three DSPs had been deployed at various routes leading to the shrine. Besides the traffic cops, authorities have also deployed 300 policemen and 60 volunteers of Home Guards for convenience of the devotees.
“It was due to coordination of different departments that the devotees did not face any inconvenience,” an official said.
However some devotees said it took them hours together to reach Hazratbal from Lal Chowk. But officials wishing anonymity blame the narrow roads for the traffic jams.
Though the state government had planned to widen the roads leading to the Hazratbal shrine, the project execution was going on at a snail’s pace. The problem was compounded by lack of adequate staff in the Traffic department.
Pertinently, after the department’s first reorganization, in 1982-83, the effective strength of its cops stood over 900 to manage 36,500 vehicles. As the population of vehicles increased by about 12-times since 1982, the strength of Traffic police remained the same till 2008.
The Government had approved the grant of additional manpower of over 1400 personnel in 2008. But so far only little over 600 officials have been deputed.
“Still with our meager resources, we managed to facilitate smooth flow of traffic,” the Traffic officials said.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 27 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 27 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 28 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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