Traffic jams, the buck stops where?
Being stuck in a traffic jam is not everybody’s cup of tea. It becomes a nightmare and unbearable for people who are on a tight schedule and intending to beat deadlines. Almost every City has a big traffic problem. The other day I was stuck in traffic jam between my home at Hyderppora and Amirakadal. A distance of 6 odd kms normally would take about 15 minutes to 1/2 hour. But it took me up to 2 ˝ or 3 good hours.
Whom should we blame? The people blame each other, a car driver would blame a biker; a bus driver would blame the auto-rickshaw drivers and at the end put everything in the bag of administrators. But I can tell you my own experience. Singling out the police only for this chaos is illogical. Most drivers/riders in Srinagar do not follow the traffic rules and do not give a damn about others.
On the day of the long jam I saw a lot of vehicles and bikes especially busses turning left from the right most lanes or vice versa. Turn indicators are just an unnecessary accessory. People use it for fun. They turn on the right indicator to turn left and are amused at the reaction of others. Nobody knows what “Give way” or “Stop and Go” means. Nobody cares who has the right of way in an intersection.
On one hand vehicles are increasing exponentially while roads are not getting widened due to the slow paced development drive, population migration , and illegal encroachments . Sooner or later, politicians, administrators, town planners and policy planers will have to work on war footing 24x7(esp on flyover at Hyderpora) with hawkish supervision by our energetic Divisional Commissioner, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon.
The Traffic police lacks sophisticated traffic tracking regulatory system and periodic traffic route advisory announcements on FM radio.
But they have a leader in the shape of SSP Traffic Srinagar Maqsood Ul Zaman, who on the fateful day (July 14) was seen personally supervising the bottleneck of “PantaChowk” in an unfriendly weather conditions. He and his team cannot speedily solve the traffic problem alone. We all have to assume our responsibilities and look for redressal. Although the government has tried to improve the roads of the City, a mega plan is still awaited. Some new roads are built, and some old roads are made larger. But these tries are like a drop in the sea.
Moreover, the heat released from the engines, especially the private cars that use air conditioners, increase the overall temperature of the City roads. Continued exposure to pollution from the streets during traffic jams, will have grave consequences in the future health of these people, especially on heart and lungs , says DR U Kaul a Heart expert. Srinagar City has almost all kind of people from all over the state with tourist influx from all over India. Solutions: Firstly the City people should learn traffic rules. Srinagar also needs a good scheme roads. Almost every City has a big traffic problem. I have visited a lot of countries, The roads in some cities are much narrow as compared to our City . But I have never faced any traffic jams there. I have never seen any people breaking traffic rules. They do get traffic jam but people drive with patience. They know their hurry can make the traffic jam worse.
Why can’t we do something about this? I do not have a definitive answer?
Dr Fiaz Fazili
(The ideas expressed are author’s own)
Lastupdate on : Fri, 29 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 29 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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