Managing the rush
A view of traffic jam at Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar. Aman Farooq/GK File

Managing the rush

Before the flood of vehicles spills over onto our roads, we must do some thinking on how to manage it

As the traffic starts plying on the roads we sense how horrible it would be when normality returns, and markets open to full strength. Even when a small percentage of normal activities is restored, and consequently we have very less traffic on roads, we face difficulties to navigate through gridlocks at certain places.

Not to speak of the health resorts that witnessed huge traffic jams, even in Srinagar city, there are places where even a steady trickle causes a traffic jam. The technical difference between slow-movement-of-traffic and a traffic jam notwithstanding, fact of the mater is that at all such places we get stuck. Time is wasted, and much agony caused.

What is going to happen when schools open, when employees in government and private offices resume their work in person, when all the markets are open, when people from outside visit the valley, when picnics, outings and hang outs are back. If our roads cannot manage a reduced flow of vehicles, how can we expect a normal movement up ahead. What will happen to us when we are stuck in a long traffic jam at peak hour – just imagine.

The point is this: right now we have time at our hands. Before the flood of vehicles spills over onto our roads, we must do some thinking on how to manage it. It is not always about enhancing the infrastructure. Each time we cannot ask for widening the existing roads, laying new roads, and constructing fly overs. But an efficient management of the existing infrastructure can at time do wonders. We have the example of major crossings on the by-pass road.

At all these crossings, like Bemina and Rawalpora, we would witness regular traffic jams. We didn't add anything to the infrastructure but the problem is almost entirely solved. Just an application of mind, and we could avoid unpleasant and troublesome situations that were a matter of routine.

If the same thinking is applied for other places, where traffic jams are a given, we can save ourselves much agony. Further, if traffic police is placed on all such points and they are fully equipped to regulate traffic, we can have a hassle free movement. This is the time to work out the details of an action plan to end traffic jams in Srinagar city.

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