The traffic torture
By: Suhaib Idrees Lateef
How often have you felt like the tearing and wearing of your hairs, the crude anger, the frustrations, the fatigue while stuck in Traffic.
Traffic jam has become a permanent feature of our day to day lives affecting all sects of society alike. Students, office goers, businessmen, all suffer due to this unending menace irrespective of whether they travel in their personal facilities or on public transport.
All of us have to spare a sufficient margin of time for the traffic jam while going for the daily jobs and assignments. While being often to Srinagar from Shopian, it is more likely a frequent and routine experience. We often get the daily dose of this exasperation caused by long line recurrent and persistent Traffic jams.
Though my travel is always through cabs and if you are travelling in your own car, own vehicle, you also have to cope with the sky touching petrol prices tramping along as reminder cum companion. This is in addition to the high maintenance costs of the vehicle whether own or public sector vehicle inflicted by merciless fully pumped, unequipped potholed roads that are akin to minefields of full hold nitrous smoke.
No wonder, some commuters spare no expletives to go on with their glazing anger and frustration. It is just so easy to lose calm while being in this hectic stuck. Not only petrol as reminder cum companion, you also have to bear merciless fear of ear-splitting honking, dust, smoke piling up in lungs, the public dealing mess and certain other mess ups, this all doesn’t take much time to bring the tempers to peak to then to breaking points and we often get the scenes and ruckus to watch then.
Shopian, one of the small towns, the whole day starts with an occupation of roads by jams starting 10 a.m. to a whole of 09 p.m. Now with the onset of Apple season, the LMVs take up either the garages or at homes. The reckless condition of the Srinagar national highway is leading the road to miseries contending from Fruit mandi,
Sofanaman (the commercial entry point to Shopian district), through the narrow Kukli Mazar Slope (often a cause of accidents), congested Bongam road to a busy Gole Chowk to choked Bona Bazar road. This is a frequent complain of daily commuters many of the daily driving individuals, whether travelling on the Shopian – Srinagar or vice versa, Shopian – Pulwama or vice versa, Interim Roads connecting Shopian like Shopian-Zainapora (Watchi Constituency) , Shopian- Aherbal/Reshinagar Road, Shopian- Keller road, even four-way veins connecting the district are proving a rich havoc to daily traveler.
There is no end in sight to this long problem, infect a disease. Even if the present width of roads is doubled, there will just not be enough space for ensuring smooth flow of traffic. As the traffic increases exponentially, the roads appear narrower with each passing day.
Rising traffic congestion is an inevitable condition in modern times where pressures of meeting targets, fulfilling commitments, and struggling with time constraints are an integral part of life.
Peak-hour traffic congestion is an inherent result of the way today’s life goes and modern societies operate. Even as many Heavy road projects are underway, they are unlikely to address the problem of this long menace, unless the heavy spike of Vehicle doesn’t increase further or make it to limit under rules, laws and consideration.
To manage the situation during morning and evening sessions, Apple seasons, tourist season and harsh winters, it is a Herculean task in itself and expecting combo JK police and traffic police to do it all on its own isn’t fair at all.
Besides illegal parking, waiting, loading and unloading obstruct traffic flow, thus reducing capacity at junctions squeezing even those walking or cycling. Some common and unnoticed contributing factors are driving at an inappropriate speed, jumping red lights, or driving through restricted areas which not only mess up the traffic but also cause fatalities and injuries.
The hard test comes in backdrop of your patience in the morning and evening rush busy hours, that rugged frustration often leads to aggressive driving which in turn are a cause to road rage incidents. Many a times, besides causing inconvenience, traffic jams can prove fatal in case of medical emergencies.
How often have we watched an Ambulance stuck in the traffic mess? ! Such a helpless situation and closed hands, where the sirens are as parallel as death horns. The agony of being caught in traffic is universally equal to all. The example of Jammu-Srinagar highway that is a haunting place to the drivers who frequently get caught to it for days to month, particularly during winters. There is no quick fix formula to do away with traffic jams. Even if a road has to be widened a little, we first have to bulldoze scores of Shops and houses attached to it.
My Shopian Town is much congested and crowded; Traffic jam is a frequent routine. Despite the installation of overhead barricades at different entry points of the town and some months ago a ban on movement of heavy vehicles imposed from 9am to 5pm, log jams are now frequent in several areas like Four-Way Chowk, Jamia Masjid, and Bonbazar.
It takes hours to clear the jam but within a few minutes the situation goes back to what it was earlier. No doubt we have got the lanes like that of Bonabazar to Hospital through Jana mohalla that is proving strength to half of the populace of the Town often during Turmoil and Traffic Jams.
However, unfortunately.!, the selfishness of people have drenched them to their hard ego and false attitude that hardly any house or family connected to this lane have left the full fledged road to go without a hard-encroachment, with an occupation of more than half or at least half of the Road.
Government agencies like R & B, Municipal Committees, Tehsildar offices, in these cases are at complete Lull and Sleep. They should primarily check such issues.
To solve this deep pending problem, the government should encourage people and bliss them to use public transport making the service more convenient, efficient, cheaper, and accountable for everyone. The service must run more frequently and for longer hours, making it convenient and attractive to everyone to increase the patronage.
(The author is freelancer, can be mailed at email@example.com)