Chaotic, as ever

Management of traffic on our roads is one of the most frightening problems that are faced by each individual in our state. In our major cities, like Srinagar, and all the district headquarters, vehicular movement on the roads is a terrible sight, to say the least. One wonders, something that affects us on daily basis hasn't been addressed in a comprehensive manner. We have occasional announcements by the people at the helm, and we think we have done enough. We observe some days, and then leave it as it is. Just recently we observed a week for this purpose – which is a very good thing to sensitise people on such matters – but then things stay the same. This is not to take a cynical view of the efforts undertaken by various government bodies, but to underline the fact that the problem has grown so big that such ad hoc and piecemeal initiatives cannot serve the purpose. The accumulated mass of problems has attained so huge a proportion that unless all the concerned agencies sit together and work out a comprehensive plan, that is subject to execution in a phased manner, no significant change can happen. If we impress upon the public transport that the designated stops should be used, it's a good thing. But we have often seen that such government directives are hardly implemented on ground. If we mobilise our field personnel to check if the rules are being followed, it creates a sense of urgency for some days, but finally things bounce back to normal. If some government agencies go out in the field and ensure that no wrong parking is allowed, that eases out traffic at some places, for some days, but then it is back to the square one. This has given rise to a cynicism of its own kind. People have convinced themselves that whatever announcements are made, or events organised, it is a timely spectacle and nothing beyond. If the concerned agencies are serious about this issue, they need to sit down, take civil society also on board, bring in expert advice, and then map this problem with all the necessary detail. Afterwords prepare a comprehensive plan, and work for its implementation on ground in a planned manner.

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