With authorities failing to streamline traffic at Pantha Chowk area here on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, commuters are facing a tough time to travel through this route.
Absence of proper regulation of vehicular movement at Pantha Chowk leads to long traffic jams on the busy stretch.
"Pantha Chowk has become synonymous with traffic jams. We have to daily wait for hours in traffic jams in the area due to failure of the Traffic department to properly regulate vehicular traffic," said a delegation of commuters.
They said traffic jams are persistent in the three kilometer stretch of Pantha Chowk.
"Frequent traffic jams on this stretch causes immense problems to people including employees and students. Even Ambulances are frequent stuck in traffic jams here putting lives of patients at risk," they said.
Some commuters said heavy movement of Army convoys compounds the problem.
"Sometimes, Army vehicles pass through wrong sides adding to the traffic mess," they said.
"In today's era, even a minute is valuable. Frequent traffic jams along the Pantha Chowk stretch has put our jobs at stake as we often reach office late," said a group of government employees posted in south Kashmir's Pulwama district.
On October 25, 2012, the then Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, had directed for fast track measures to decongest Pantha Chowk.
Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Haseeb-ur-Rehman blamed "faulty road engineering" for frequent traffic jams at Pantha Chowk junction.
"When a four lane converges into a single lane, traffic jams are bound to happen. The problem gets compounded as the single lane is dilapidated and drivers slowly pass through it," the SP said.
He said there standing directions to the Traffic cops to pave way for ambulances. "The ambulances ferrying patients are allowed to use wrong side to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams," he said.