An official government report says frequent and sever traffic congestion in Srinagar has reached a tipping point with commuters having to spend millions of man hours stuck on the roads each year.
“Traffic congestion is already severe on many city roads and the gridlock plaguing Srinagar has reached a tipping point, with the region spending millions of man hours in traffic congestion each year,” the report on traffic situation of the capital city highlights.
It blames a mismatch between growth of road infrastructure and vehicular population for the traffic mess in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
The report brings out that with an annual population growth rate of 2 percent the state has registered a phenomenal increase of corresponding vehicular traffic of 7 percent during the last decade.
“Due to this rapid growth of vehicles vis-à-vis marginal increase in road infrastructure, the problems related to transportation have grown manifold,” it says.
“Vehicular pollution is assuming critical dimensions and parking problems are aggravating. These problems among others will grow in size and scale unless action is taken now.”
Two comprehensive traffic and transportation plans have been prepared for Srinagar city which include the Srinagar urban transport project 1992 and comprehensive mobility plan (CMP) of 2012, but not a single step has been taken so far, the report rues.
The report also highlights that Srinagar has geographical disadvantages with physical thresholds like mountains, wetlands, and water bodies, major constraints in the development of an organised road network.
“The city road network is cramped because of missing links, incomplete rings, inefficient radials, bottlenecks, etc. Some of the radials like Rangreth Road, Airport Road are virtually dead ends as they are not connected to any major arterials. Also the location of strategic installations across city has been another key impediment in the development.”
According to traffic police department, around 80,000 vehicles enter Srinagar city on daily basis.
The report states that Srinagar has historically developed with a radial road network spanning in north, south and west directions. All the radials are witnessing extreme traffic flows much beyond their capacities, hence poor level of service.
The report recommends that the city road network needs a complete relook for developing an efficient and sustainable transport network to meet future demand.
It highlights the need to identify potential public transport corridors supported by a High Capacity Transport System (HCTS).
Accordingly, the report identifies a mass transport network to meet the future travel demand of the city.