With rains,City sinks in traffic mess

Greater Kashmir

Mufti stuck at Shalteng jam; Aam Aadmi held up everywhere

Srinagar, July 14: With rainfall, massive traffic jams were witnessed in the City Thursday while many high profile people including former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayed and IAS topper Shah Faesal faced what has almost been a routine for Aam Aadmi, on the congested inundated roads in the summer capital.
 From Shalteng in north to Pantha Chowk in south, to the City centre areas of Lal Chowk, Jehangir Chowk, and even the Airport Road, almost all the areas witnessed traffic jams while the security restrictions in place for Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s visit to JK Bank headquarters near Dalgate compounded the problem.

 At Shalteng, thousands of vehicles coming and going out from the City were seen stuck. For years, this junction is infamous for traffic jams as successive regimes have failed in its timely widening. But today, worst was witnessed at this crucial junction when a truck developed snag and couldn’t be moved and the jam lasted for three hours.
 Among those stuck was former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed whose cavalcade found no options but to wait and watch on return from Rafiabad, Baramulla. 

 Witnesses said security restrictions in place for Chief Minister’s visit to the JK Bank headquarters had a cascading effect on the traffic jams on the busy road.
 From Abdullah Bridge on one end to Lal Mandi on the other, over two kilometre long gridlocks were seen on the road leading to the south City.
 “It took me three hours to reach my Hyderpora home from Raj Bagh,” said Dr Fiaz Fazili, a prominent medico working in the Middle East who is on a visit to his homeland.

 The already congested Airport Road stretch between Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal Park and Ram Bagh was no better either as a two kilometre long gridlock could be seen on the road.
 Rafiq Maqdoomi, a businessman who has heading towards Lal Chowk said the jam at Ram Bagh was so bad that it took him two hours to reach the destination.
 “Trip to Lal Chowk has become so messy that one thinks of shifting the office to elsewhere,” he added.

 Last year’s IAS topper Shah Faesal didn’t stay immune to the traffic jam wave in the City. Stuck the genius finally logged on to Facebook to give a vent to his feelings.
  “Is caught in a terrible traffic jam – with Srinagar moving at 10 cm/hour this time, I am just wondering about the way out!,” he posted on his wall getting over a hundred instant suggestions from his net pals with many saying that “better come out of the vehicle and walk on foot.”

  Following heavy downpour many of the Traffic beat cops could be seen running for cover.
 Witnesses said the traffic cops who have been transferred from Jammu found it too cold to stay at the beat.
 Pertinently sometime back the government swapped the Traffic cops of Jammu province with Kashmir putting them to a “climatic change which they are yet to acclimatize with.”

 SP Traffic Srinagar Maqsood Ul Zaman was himself drenching in rain at Panthachowk for over two hours trying to regulate traffic on the link with the south Kashmir and Jammu.
 Talking to Greater Kashmir he said several factors were responsible for the “slow down of traffic.”
 Besides rains which inundated streets, he said after a day of Hartal people had come out in bulk.
 “Besides schools had reopened after vacations and all this mounted pressure on the roads,” the SP said.
 He however refused that any of the traffic cops ran for cover during the heavy downpour. “They were all at place and it was because of their hard work that the traffic could be streamlined.”