Commuters say pavement vending, uncontrolled movement of public transport main causes of chaos on City roads
Past floods, people have been facing a tough time as traffic jams are witnessed in most parts of the City –taking commuters hostage for hours. From the City center areas like Lal Chowk and Batamaloo, to the Jehangir Chowk –Ram Bagh route, it is often mess on all sides.
Many office goers and students complain that they don’t reach their destinations in time as huge gridlocks are seen stretching across the roads. The commuters accused the administration particularly the Traffic Police of putting the people to undue inconvenience.
Referring to the past days of curfews and hartals the people said: “Our normal life remains affected even on normal days because when it’s not siege its chaos due to traffic jams and failure of the administration to streamline the vehicular flow.”
Majority of commuters in the City center said presence of pavement vendors and uncontrolled movement of public transport mini buses and cabs fuels the chaos.
Witnesses said there was no check on the entry of Tata Sumo and other cabs in the City center as thousands of such vehicles operate from the busy marketplaces disrupting vehicular traffic.
The continued traffic jams are posing a serious threat to life of patients being referred to hospitals. “Because of lack of requisite facilities at SMHS Hospital most of the patients are referred to SKIMS Soura but travel between the two hospitals at a distance of 5 odd miles takes over two hours during daytime which is an alarming situation,” said a medico at SKIMS Soura.
On the other hand people have been saying that the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has failed to ensure smooth flow of traffic as assured during the ongoing construction of the Jehangir Chowk-Ram Bagh flyover.
The commuters said promises like dedicated corridor via Batamaloo has proved a hoax while diversions on routes like Jawahar Nagar continue to be ill-manned. “Unless the deployment of Traffic police is adequately strengthened or compensated through other resources like Armed Police, there cannot be respite from traffic mess,” said an expert on traffic management.
Sources said the “Election year politics prevents the concerned including Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Police from initiating action due to pressures from Netas who don’t want their vote banks be offended in any way.”
As per the inhabitants of this devastated City the traffic jams are equally affecting relief and rehabilitation work. “Our entire plan to reach out multiple venues in a day is spoiled because of traffic jams, which allow us execute no more than one assignment a day,” said a relief volunteer working with an NGO.
A senior official in the administration said the matter was being looked into.