Traffic jams during peak hours pester commuters in Srinagar

Representational Pic of a traffic jam (Archives -Habib Naqash/GK)
Representational Pic of a traffic jam (Archives -Habib Naqash/GK)

Srinagar, Nov 11: Frequent traffic jams have become a common feature during peak hours on several routes in the summer capital taking a toll on commuters.

Traffic jams during peak hours are witnessed on vital routes Lal, Chowk - bypass route, Natipora, junctions at Rajouri Kadal, Hyderpora, Wanabal Chowk and Sonwar route has become a norm.

“Frequent traffic jams signify the failure of authorities to streamline the system,” Shabir Ahmad, a daily commuter at Wanabal route.

He said that every evening he has to “waste” an hour in traffic jam on the Wanabal road to cover the distance which otherwise is covered within 10 minutes.

At busy Natipora route, the commuters urged authorities to take necessary measures to avoid traffic jams.

“Traffic jams during peak hours have now become a norm and authorities seem unmoved. The traffic jams have increased in absence of effective regulation of the traffic,” said a group of angry commuters at Chanapora junction.

The problem is further compounded by closing down of traffic light system at vital junctions, said commuters.

They added that authorities have also closed down some of the important crossings and commuters are forced to take alternative roads.

One of the important junctions at Sanat Nagar has also been closed and commuters have to take a longer distance to cross the intersection.

“Travelling on city roads has become more of a time-consuming experience. At few places, a commuter has to spend twenty minutes to complete the distance of one kilometer which otherwise is just two to three minutes drive normally,” said a group of commuters at Sonwar.

They added that the traffic jam in the morning and evening hours on the Sonwar route has become a norm. “Ambulances ferrying critical patients on this route are also seen stuck in traffic jams,” said Mushtaq Ahmad of Sonwar.

Attendants and visitors having patients at GB Pant Hospital said that they often find it difficult to reach the hospital on time.

“Then most of the people deboard the bus at Gupkar and walk all the way to the hospital. Many people can be seen holding ailing kids in laps and walking to seek immediate treatment at hospital amid traffic jams,” said a group of local shopkeepers at Sonwar market.

At Rambagh, Nowgam, and other adjacent roads, traffic also moves at a snail’s pace. At some places, the problem is compounded due to the presence of street vendors on vital roads including Regal Chowk, Lal Chowk, Residency Road, Dalgate, and Hari Singh High Street.

Additional Superintendent of Police City (Traffic) Tariq Ahmad Wani said that “traffic moves slower at some of these congested roads for the past few days.”

“We deploy a sufficient number of cops to regulate traffic during peak hours. We are also aware of the rush of vehicles during peak hours. However, there are no traffic jams as wheels keep on moving. But yes, speed comes down,” he said while replying to a query.

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