Traffic jams take sheen off Srinagar

Failure of authorities to prevent traffic jams in the summer capital has become a major source of inconvenience for the commuters.
Traffic jams take sheen off Srinagar
File Photo/GK

Failure of authorities to prevent traffic jams in the summer capital has become a major source of inconvenience for the commuters.  

The problem has been compounded by wrong parking and dilapidated roads in various areas of the city. The Traffic department had earlier this month formulated a Traffic Plan to ensure smooth vehicular movement, however it has failed to implement it.  

The problem is severe especially at intersections including Pantha Chowk, Dalgate, Batamaloo, Amira Kadal, Jawahar Nagar, Rambagh, Hyderpora, Bemina and Rawalpora.  

"The concerned authorities are acting as mute spectators to traffic jams. They only hold meetings and formulate traffic plans, ironically these are not implemented on the ground," said a group of aggrieved commuters. 

Spot assessment of various areas of the summer capital reveals that the traffic jams are mainly caused by wrong parking on roadsides, absence of traffic cops and dilapidated roads. 

Though the Traffic authorities had recently directed that no parking would be allowed at roadsides especially at busy Residency Road, however in absence of regulation, commuters continue to violate the directive. 

"Parking on roadsides on Residency Road is not viable due to heavy rush of vehicles. The Traffic authorities have also failed to implement its directive on one-way traffic from Residency Road to Lal Chowk. This leads to frequent traffic jams on the busy stretch," said Abdul Hamid, a commuter. 

At several places, haphazard parking of vehicles hamper traffic movement. "Some shopkeepers even park their vehicles in markets. This also leads to traffic jams and causes inconvenience to us. It is high time that the concerned authorities wake up from slumber and restore traffic system," Sajad Ahmad of Khanyar.

The problem gets compounded in absence of proper parking system and dedicated stand for the passenger vehicles. 

"Due to traffic jams, we reach our respective offices late by several hours. Defunct traffic system has put our jobs at stake," said a group of government employees led Muhammad Maqbool.

"Most of the schools in the city almost close at same time. Movement of school buses also leads to traffic jams. Authorities should change school timings to check the problem," they said. 

SP Traffic (Srinagar) Haseeb-ur-Rehman said the several measures have been taken to ensure smooth movement to traffic. 

"The traffic on Residency Road is now smooth. However, the traffic jam at Abdullah bridge intersection is caused as vehicles bound for Ram Bagh are being diverted through Jawahar Nagar," the SP said. 

The SP admitted that wrong parking is one of the major reasons for traffic jam. "We toe around 100 wrongly parked vehicles in day. If case people find anyone observing traffic rules in breach, they can contact us on our toll free number 18001807091. We will take action against the offenders," he said. 

He acknowledged that the parking slots in the summer capital are less than actual requirement.  "Government is mulling to construct multi-floor parking at Regal Chowk and other places in city to check the problem," the SP said. 

"Parking on roadside at Residency Road is allowed inside yellow line. The vehicles parked beyond the line are towed and fined," he said. 

"This year we have deputed more cops to streamline the traffic at various important places including Old City," he added. 

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