The city of jams and gridlocks

Given the mess we are in, the question that troubles us is this. Is improvement possible?

M A Kakroo
Srinagar, Publish Date: Mar 22 2018 10:44PM | Updated Date: Mar 22 2018 10:44PM
The city of jams and gridlocksFile Photo

Traffic has become a nuisance and Srinagar city is the worst hit. The growth in motor vehicles could not keep pace with the required road connectivity in the state particularly since 1990. With the result the existing road network received tremendous load of vehicles. The increase in number of public  and private transport fleet and road length maintained by State P.W Department from 3/1990 to 3/2017 has been as:-

 

Period

Public and private transport fleet registered (Number)

Road length surfaced

 

Unsurfaced

 

(KMS )

3/1990

1.10 lakhs

11,260

2279

13,539

3/2017

14.25 (App.)

25,500 (App.)

2900 (App.)

28,400

 

The figures reveal that the number of registered vehicles has grown by 14  times but the surfaced and unsurfaced roads has recorded the growth by little over two times in 27 years. The figures reveal that state Government has remained  non-serious and administration has totally failed in maintaining the pace towards road requirement and the demand. The plying of vehicles on different routes in Srinagar city causes road jamming regularly. With the result,  the people are put to a lot of inconvenience. The drivers of passenger vehicles stop en route at any point of road to lift  and drop commuters  and in this process, the roads get blocked regularly. It is to point out here that a driver of passenger vehicle stops at least sixty times to cover a distance of eight to ten kilometeres from Lal Chowk to Hazratbal via Lal Bazar and same mechanism is in place in other routes. These drivers close road corners road crossings. Commuters have no way to go ahead and consequently there are gridlocks and traffic jams which leave no space. 

During May 2017, a survey to ascertain the time  consumed  by passenger vehicle drivers from start to destination in all different routes of city Srinagar, was conducted. It got confirmed that the commuters are robbed of extra time to the extent of 4.8 lakhs hours duration during each day equivalent to over 20 thousands working  days time in a single day. One  can guess the physical and mental agony of a passenger who is the victim of all this mess.  

The over loading phenomenon in these passenger vehicles is of worst type. To sum up the traffic system here has  turned  rouge as it robs the commuters of human virtues.

The following measures are suggested to improve the existing traffic management in city Srinagar.

a. The drivers of passenger vehicles should stop to lift and drop commuters only at identified stops en route and wherever such stops do not exist same be erected. This will minimise the time consumption during the  bus journey. It is to add here that bus stops are exiting in Srinagar City at all key points.

b. The footpaths around Lal Chowk Amira Kadal Bridge, Maisuma, Maharaj Bazzar, Hari Singh High Street, Botamaloo, Iqbal Park, Dalgate etc. remain commonly occupied  by shellfish elements for purposes of business as such  are required to be dispensed with.

c. The route from Jehangir Chowk via Maisuma to different stations needs to be dispensed  with as the Maisuma is the hub of business units particularly the vehicle repairing shops where vehicles remain on the roads for repairing purpose, thus a cause of road jam and blockade around Budshah and Lal Chowk areas.

d. The behaviour of passenger vehicle operators is commonly rude, aggressive and abusive towards commuters. Such people must be dealt under  law.  

e. The use  of mobile phones by operators of all motor vehicles even of bikers  while driving the vehicle be banned to restrict  the occurrence of accidents on roads. 

f. The minors are seen driving motor vehicles, bikes  etc is required to be dealt severally under law, being the serious lapse on the part of concerned state departments. 

g. The parking places in  and around Lal Chowk are inadequate at present. Saufficient parking places be raised in order to avoid the closure of roads by vehicles. 

h. Currently, the private transporters in the state are rendering the services under monopolistic mechanism with the result the public is put to inconvenience and trouble. To make the traffic system effective, he  J&K SRTC  should enter in the trade as a stiff competitor in the interest of public and state. 

i. The traffic personnel are key to the success of smooth traffic system. They must be equipped  with all relevant equipments on priority as they are seen ignoring the lapses of drivers. 

j. The use of bicycles in Srinagar city and important towns  of State holds key for restricting the alarming scale of pollution due to vehicle movement at undesired  level at present.  

(M A Kakroo is Ex. Director General Economics & Statistics J&K. Contact 9858434696, 9419647933)