More parking spaces needed
Most towns across Kashmir have been experiencing nagging traffic jams that too during peak hours of public mobility. 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.
Now that the colleges and higher educational institutions are scheduled to open up for physical classes the problem can become all the more complex.
The issue has becomes so complex that it reached the court and hearing the case last December the HC 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.
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.
Since the issue is too intertwined, all sectors across the board have to come forward and provide some help to get over this crisis. For this the traffic management adopted to manage the roads here has to be on scientific lines which should also ensure public participation so that the issue is tackled by the public besides, the authorities.
Following some simple steps can ensure a major relief but it needs a change of mind from our end too which we may not be willing to initiate.