Traffic chaos

City of Jammu is almost bursting at seams with incredible traffic chaos. The number of cars, bikes, motor vehicles, mini buses and trucks is fast increasing while the roads remain as narrow as these have been ever since these were built. Go to any street in Jammu, you will find it choked with vehicular traffic.
There are a number of reasons why chaos and confusion prevail in Jammu road traffic. The main reason is corruption among the cops in blue. This has been the complaint of one and all especially the commuters. There is strange contradiction prevailing in this department. On the one hand we feel that it is over staffed and on the other we find its delivery is next to nil. This remains inexplicable because it is contradiction in terms.  Traffic jam caused by trucks and heavy vehicles at late hours is a clear proof that the cops are stopping them and trying to grease their palms. If it were not so there should be no reason for traffic jam at night. Sometimes a couple of cops in blue accompanied by an officer suddenly appear at a crossing where there is usually much traffic congestion and they begin to challan the drivers of cars, scooters and other vehicles. Actually what they want to do is to fulfill the quota of challans and for achieving the target they make sudden appearances. This is contrary to what they are actually told to do and what they should do. Instead of advising the people and persuading them to observe traffic rules and regulations and develop traffic culture, they just want to have the required number of challans.
The second important reason is that neither the city police nor the functionaries of the Jammu Municipality prevent encroachment of pavements. The shopkeepers encroach upon the pavements, and grab as much space as they can to display their commodities. It creates many hurdles for the footpath walkers and they are forced to abandon the congested and blocked footpath and use the main road. More often than not accidents take place and precious lives are either lost or disabled. The policemen have the duty to disallow the shopkeepers from spreading out their merchandise outside the limits of their shops. Likewise, the hand cart venders also create much obstruction to pedestrians and also to the traffic. They sell their merchandise at places which are already congested or where they expect larger number of buyers. Generally we see the squares at Jewel, Janipur, Roop Nagar, Talab Tiloo and Bohri clogged and jam-packed for hours at end. The Jewel to Bohri, Amphalla/Dental College to Janipur Chowk, K C Crossing and Bakshi Nagar – Akhnoor road all remain jam packed for hours at end. Traffic policemen are frequently visible but they are inactive and inefficient to control the traffic. It is a pity to see them standing like unconcerned onlookers when the traffic jam takes very serious turn. We have often seen the drivers or volunteers coming out at the squares and directing the traffic while the traffic policeman stands on one side of the road just looking on what is happening.
Mini buses plying on narrow streets are a big nuisance and something reminding us of old and outdated system of city traffic. These are small and the seating is so narrow that a commuter has to huddle himself in the seat which has no leg space and not fit even for one man to sit. The drivers and conductors play music loudly that the shrill note pierces the ears of commuters. The mini buses stop at will and pick up the passengers at each and every place where they find them. The culture among mini bus drivers is to stop at each bus stop and wait till another bus following him arrives. In this way lot of time is wasted and traffic congestion is created deliberately.
The first and foremost thing which the traffic department should do is to ask its  officers to visit the main crowded squares and streets at least twice a day and keep a diary and submit the same to higher authorities.  Any mini bus carrying music system and playing it while driving should be denied license for three months. Drivers and conductors should be asked to dress up nicely and be disciplined in behaving with the passengers. There is need of bringing in total revolution in the traffic system in the city. New long link routes should be created besides circular traffic to reduce congestion. In short there is a lot to be done to make Jammu traffic smooth and pleasant.


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