Commuters suffer as traffic lights are defunct in Srinagar

Srinagar, June 8: Despite tall claims by Government to streamline traffic in Srinagar, most of the traffic signals on vital junctions of the city are lying defunct, irking commuters and transporters.

The Traffic signals which were installed at vital junctions in and around the city are either dysfunctional or it is only yellow, making commuters suffer.

The traffic signals at Dalgate, Qamarwari, Batamaloo, Fire and Emergency Services Department Crossing, Jehangir Chowk, Nowgam, Karan Nagar, Rambagh and several other areas are defunct with people pitching for their restoration and expressed serious concern over the issue.

As per commuters, most of the traffic signals which were installed in the summer capital several years ago are lying defunct and authorities are least bothered about the issue.

Abid Ahmad, a daily commuter, said that some of the traffic signals are put on off mode which results in the chaos and confusion among the people.

“Barely few metres away from the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) office, the traffic signal at Batamaloo crossing, near Fire & Emergency Services, headquarters and Secretariat is dysfunctional forcing the Traffic police to manually regulate vehicular movement,” he said. 

He said in a distance of approximately two kilometer stretch from Batamaloo to Jehangir Chowk, the three traffic signals are dysfunctional.

The residents of Qamarwari alleged that the traffic signal which was installed at the congested Qamarwari junction was never functional.

“Since the traffic signal was installed at Qamarwari, I have never seen it functional. The area is very congested and the traffic signal would have been very useful in controlling huge rush of vehicles coming from North Kashmir or other areas. But authorities are least bothered about this,” Shabir Ahmad, a local resident said. 

He said the issue has become nuisance for the patients coming from North Kashmir areas to the Srinagar’s SMHS and SKIMS hospitals. Even the ambulances are often seen stuck in the traffic jam at the junction, risking lives of patients.

The inhabitants accused Traffic department and SMC of not showing any seriousness to provide any relief to the commuters.

The condition of traffic signals at Rambagh chowk, one of the busiest road which remains jam-packed due to huge traffic flow is no different.

“The absence of traffic lights creates inconvenience to the people travelling from Natipora, Chanapora, Hyderpora and other areas through Rambagh Chowk. Vehicles are often seen stuck during morning and evening hours there, wasting precious time of the daily commuters,” Shakeel Ahmad, a resident of Chanapora said.

Riyaz Ahmad Wani, Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), said that the traffic, lights are being upgraded and the old signals will be replaced with the new “Intelligent Traffic Signals” that will work automatically according to the traffic flow.

“We are upgrading the traffic lights. The existing traffic signals at 26 spots will be upgraded with the new Intelligent Traffic signals and new 8 signals will be installed. The work on 14 signals out of total 34 is going on and it will take two or three months to complete this project,” he said. (DE)

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