Drive for wearing uniform by transporters falls flat

Greater Kashmir

No strict enforcement on ground: ARTO * Harsh winters break uniformity: SP Traffic

Srinagar, Jan 12: The much needed drive of traffic department to ensure drivers to wear uniform and streamline the system is falling flat: courtesy lack of strict enforcement and weather conditions in Kashmir.
The drive was started in 2009 where in authorities declared the uniform ‘mandatory’ for public transporters and warned of strict action if the directions were not implemented in letter and spirit.
However the officials in traffic police blame the harsh winters for playing spoilsport in maintaining the uniformity to wear the uniform by drivers and conductors in valley.
Superintendent of Traffic Police Srinagar, Haseeb-ur-Rehman, said the rule of wearing uniform by drivers and conductors gets sabotaged due to harsh winters. “Due to harsh winters drivers wear feran and jackets. With the result uniform loses its importance and drivers stop wearing it at all,” SP traffic said.
He however claimed that the drive was successfully implemented during summers and the authorities also penalized the violators as well. “We succeeded to implement it to some extent during summers but weather conditions in winters sabotage the whole scene,” he added.
The practice of wearing uniform, according to the traffic police department was made compulsory for drivers and conductors by Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO) Mubashir Jan Ahmad said there was no strict enforcement on grounds, saying “only government drivers wear uniform.”
He however said the allied departments like State Motor Garages and State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) should also shoulder the responsibility.
“Keep uniform aside, we have witnessed drivers of Garage department breaking the red signal which is a blatant violation of traffic rules,” ARTO said. “Obviously this is lack of awareness and enforcement.”
Jan said the basic reason for unawareness was the lack of technocrats in transport department. “I don’t think transport department has a good number of technocrats who can work in field. People working in the department believe in hit and trial method which plays a spoilsport,” he said.
The ARTO called for having both long and short term ‘technological’ solutions to the issues. “With other developments like construction of flyover and widening of roads we must have transport experts in field who can take the system to a better position,” he said.
He blamed the system for not having any professional training for drivers. “It has become very easy for everyone to become a driver. No professional training is imparted to them for this,” he said, adding, “Be it wearing uniform by drivers and conductors or any other regulation, people have to build a culture for obeying traffic rules and get aware about their implementation.”