Traffic lights go out of gear at peak hours, bad weather
Many areas of Srinagar city are witnessing frequent traffic jams both in absence as well as presence of traffic signals due to lack of coordination between the Traffic Police and Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).
Some of the places have proper traffic signals installed but they are not working properly while some lack such facilities and the attention of traffic police as well.
“New traffic lights have been installed at different places in Srinagar which is appreciable but they lack the basic timer, without which they have become problematic and major cause of traffic mess especially on major junctions across the summer capital,” said Abid Shafiq, a commuter.
Commuters travelling both via private or public transport on routes like Qamarwari, Sonwar, Tourist Reception Centre, Dalgate, Bemina Bypass, Barbarshah, Boulevard, Karan Nagar Chowk, HMT, Batamaloo, Rambagh, Natipora crossing and many areas of Downtown are facing issues regarding smooth movement of vehicles.
“I travel from Fateh Kadal to Women’s College MA Road everyday and it gets difficult to reach on college on time because of the traffic jams. There are no traffic signals available on Barbarshah route which falls midway between Fateh Kadal and MA Road. Also there are no traffic cops to take care of the traffic movement so the locals are forced to clear the traffic mess from the roads,” said Munazah, a year student.
There are places where traffic signals are available but are not working full time and the places where they work properly, people do not follow the rules in the absence of traffic cops. This adds to the woes and causes nuisance on City roads.
Irfan Malik, a resident of Karan Nagar said, “I get stuck in traffic jam every evening at Kara Nagar Chowk due to extreme traffic mess. There are few traffic cops deployed at crucial junctions especially during peak hours due to which it becomes quite difficult to regulate traffic.”
He added that the traffic lights often either stop working completely or do not function properly especially during the evening hours and drivers drive at their will creating chances of road mishaps.
“I live in Mustafaabad HMT and there is a four way which connects Srinagar to districts of north Kashmir, thus making it a highway. But there aren't any traffic lights available due to which the people face many problems and erring drivers try to make way in a haphazard manner,” said Naqshab, a regular traveler from Mustafaabad to Lal Chowk.
She said due to the carelessness of Traffic Department people traveling from this area often face hardships to reach their destinations.
Another resident of Bemina Bypass complained that the traffic lights do not function during morning and late evening hours. Also during rains and snow the traffic signals stop working resulting in extreme chaos on roads especially junctions, he added.
A Traffic Department official said, “All these problems are caused because we do not have enough manpower to handle traffic on roads everywhere. We haven’t received any complaint regarding non-functioning of traffic lights as such but they can only work when we have enough manpower.”
He added that now the matter has been brought into his notice, it will take at least two to three weeks to deal with the matter. “We need more cops to deal with all these traffic related issues in and around Srinagar city,” the official added.