The successful installation of traffic lights at every main road junctions across the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir so far has failed to remove the traffic jams at all the places as they are not fully functional except at very few places in the city including Lal Chowk. The traffic lights have also been installed on the national highways for smooth movement of vehicular traffic of private, public and heavy transportation to avoid the long hour congestions on all the highways.
The hi-tech traffic light system was for the first time introduced in Srinagar city with an aim to improve road safety and ensure smooth traffic flow. The project, which started a few years ago in Srinagar, is fully functional at every junction giving Red, Orange and Green signals all the times but failed to get implemented at many places in the Srinagar city. Many of the commuters who cross the Residency Road or upper town areas every day have to follow the traffic lights but in other city areas like down town areas where the traffic lights can be used to control the traffic jams as the commuters are fully aware of the facts of such lights and despite being in the working condition round the clock has been kept on hold.
In the present scenario of automobile technologies and with the innovation of new vehicles like scooty, bikes, buses, trucks etc, engineers have already kept all the safety measures for the driver of vehicles and it is the responsibility of public as well to follow the driving rules fully and adopt all the safety measures in and outside the vehicles so that a proper traffic system can be created by it. It has been observed that during a busy market, many people resort to illegal parkings of their vehicles and as a result huge traffic jams are created thus creating a nuisance for the general public.
Over the years, the efficient management of traffic has emerged as one of the most challenging aspect to the governments as it involves life and safety of the citizens. Shrinking roads, ever-increasing traffic, increasing lack of civic sense coupled with blind urge to merely imitate (without following the prescribed path) are some of the factors which add to the challenge. Maintaining the balance of safety and security vis-à-vis promptitude requires high degree of professionalism. The lopsided growth, especially in Jammu/ Srinagar has seen the vehicular population run many times more than the infrastructure which is available.
Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has already changed the traffic rules for better traffic management and also to prevent harassment of drivers by police officials. Also, the details of driving licences disqualified or revoked by the licensing authority shall be recorded chronologically in the portal and such records shall be reflected on a regular basis on the portal and records shall be maintained electronically. The Traffic Police in Srinagar city has already taken so many initiatives like organizing awareness programmes about the rules and regulations of traffic and traffic light information and as a result all the commuters follow the traffic rules fully in Lal Chowk and upper town areas but at many other places the traffic light system is not working properly or is still dysfunctional.
Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory administration has already taken swift measures over the alarming figures of fatal road accidents on the National Highways and other major roads in the valley and had timely directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to prioritize installation of crash barriers and parapets throughout the accident prone areas and blind spots and asked the concerned authorities to install mesh coverings at landslide-prone areas to ensure safety of plying vehicles. Besides, the traffic police department has been directed to ensure adequate deputation of traffic personnel on the congested stretches to enforce speed limits and discipline in lane driving.
Regarding the decongestion of city/town areas, the divisional administrations and traffic police were directed to strictly enforce no-parking norms and vacate illegal parking’s and to launch special drives against pressure horns, unauthorized headlights, and use of tainted glasses in 4-wheelers. Transport Department was also directed to ensure installation of High Security Number Plates (HSNP) in all vehicles.
The Union Territory administration should make a final call to get the newly established hi-tech traffic light system fully functional round the clock at all areas of Srinagar city and traffic awareness be also accelerated to make the Srinagar city a “Green” and pollution free city of India.
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