Nagging traffic mess
How bad is our traffic management can be witnessed on various roads once the unlock is announced and vehicles are allowed to ply on the roads. Past two days have been a harrowing experience for commuters as various traffic jams became a routine on city and other major roads in various areas across Kashmir.
The traffic snarls and logjams are majorly attributed to bad use of roads, non-compliance of traffic rules and above all lack of parking space at major places. The traffic jams are quite frequent during peak hours, both in the morning as well as evening.
The crisis has become so alarming that people have started to avoid travelling during the morning and evening peak hours when the roads get crammed with vehicles making it impossible to move ahead.
Even numerous cases have been reported when vehicles in emergency situations or the ambulances carrying critically ill patients or the medical staff too were caught in the logjam for hours.
The situation becomes all the more belligerent as the number of traffic cops manning the roads too fail to address the crisis to ensure hassle free movement of vehicles.
Although the schools and colleges across Kashmir have been closed due to Covid-19 pandemic and the movement of vehicles carrying students has reduced drastically, but still the problem of traffic jams persists that too quite distressingly.
The issue of traffic witnessing a chaotic situation was also heard in the Jammu and Kashmir High court which directed the Transport Commissioner to file a report to explain if there is any policy to allow roadside parking of the vehicles, which, mockingly has been one of the major causes of traffic congestion and jams in Srinagar city.
The court directed the Transport Commissioner to explain if the vehicle owners were asked to ascertain if they had parking space available at home before their vehicle was given a registration number.
Interestingly, the court was informed that the roadside parking in Srinagar city was initiated on the suggestion of the then SSP, Traffic, to address the shortage of parking spaces in the city, where traffic jams are now become a routine.
However, the court observed that the roadside parking of the vehicles is one of the main reasons for traffic jams in Srinagar city and other areas.
The courts observation may be valid but the issue of traffic jams cannot be tackled by the authorities alone. This is evident from the fact that most of the drivers in Kashmir valley lack the will to obey traffic and parking rules.
The traffic sense among the people is so distraught that not even a single driver will ensure to park his vehicle at designated places only. Besides, the public transport too contributes to the logjams by not strictly adhering to stop their vehicles at designated passenger terminals.
And to cap it all, the parking slots available in the city centre and other areas where there is maximum footfall during the day, too are very less in number. Besides, these parking slots are so crammed up for space that one has to wait for hours together to get in and out of these parking lots.