Post by RK News on Monday, March 20, 2023
With the massive works on Smart City Project underway and the subsequent diversion of traffic through alternate routes, the traffic movement in Srinagar city has been severely hampered with long and frequent jams becoming order of the day. The traffic mess is likely to sustain throughout the holy month of Ramadan much to the inconvenience of people. The city traffic moves at snail’s pace particularly during morning and evening rush hour and it looks like an impossible task to streamline vehicular movement in the Srinagar city. Besides the surge in traffic volume related to educational institutions, summers also witness increase in tourist arrivals. The exponential increase in the number of vehicles over the past decade has meant that the narrow roads are unable to cope with the burden. While on one hand traffic has increased manifold, the traffic department is finding itself well short of the requisite manpower. Nowadays traffic cops are overwhelmed with the burden of managing hundreds of vehicles on daily basis. This severely hampers the traffic management efforts. The traffic officials also seem to have run out of ideas. Although the government is undertaking road-widening projects, it is also unlikely to address the problem of traffic jams any time soon unless the number of vehicles does not continue to swell at the current rate. Stuck in traffic for hours on a stretch has become part of daily life. The problem is compounded by cars parked haphazardly on the roads and dysfunctional traffic signals. What is surprising is that traffic lights at some important junctions have either been missing or not operated. One of the most congested bridges in the city is the Abdullah Bridge. There are no traffic lights operational on either side of the bridge. For many residents, reaching office late has become a routine affair, pushing up their stress levels and increasing the frequency of road rage incidents. Constant honking has raised the decibels of noise pollution. Besides being a cause of daily inconvenience, traffic jams can often prove life threatening in cases of medical emergencies and disasters like fire incidents. Though one cannot expect the problem to be addressed overnight, there is a scope for improvement. To begin with, the government can hire experts to devise multi-pronged policy to streamline the traffic. Unless the government gives serious thought to the issue, it is not going to be resolved by piecemeal measures like diversions. It is anybody’s guess as to how worse the traffic scenario will get unless some comprehensive plan is formulated and is implemented on war-footing basis.