Deterrent Laws, Planning Must For Traffic Control: DIG

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SRINAGAR (KNS) – Attributing the frequent traffic jam on various routes to the “failure in planning by other government departments,” the deputy inspector-general (Trafiic), Shafqat Watali, Tuesday said his department was not responsible for the mess at Pantha Chowk. He said the highway at Pantha Chowk needed widening as no alternative route was available to divert the traffic from south Kashmir to the city.

Talking to KNS, the DIG said proper planning backed by deterrent laws were needed for effective traffic management. “Traffic police is delivering its services to its best capability but lack of proper planning by other departments is the cause of these traffic jams,’ he said.

On ensuring passage of ambulances carrying critical patients, Watali said his department was ready for the challenging problem and had even put all arrangements in place. “But there are occasions, the heavy snarls at various points make it virtually impossible,” the DIG admitted. 

On charges of corruption against traffic police officials, the DIG minced no words to admit corruption was a reality and no one could ignore it. “Corruption is not possible on one side only. Unless the drivers and others concerned stop greasing the palms, eradication of the menace cannot be possible,” he said.

Watali said it was the duty of every citizen to introspect and to help eradicate corruption by showing seriousness to change things on ground.

Asked about the attacks on traffic policemen by VIPs’ PSOs, he said, “They should understand that no one is above law. They have been arrested and action under rules has been taken against them. No minister or any other authority tried to shield them. In fact, government is serious to punish such offenders,” he said.

“Any person violating the traffic rules or assaulting traffic policemen will be brought to book, regardless of the fact that he may be an officer, minister or an ordinary man,” he added.

The DIG advocated suitable amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act. “Fine of Rs 600 is no more a deterrent for the violators. The fine needs to be increased substantially to make the law more deterrent.  Our job is to enforce the law but to make it effective is the job of the state legislature,” the DIG said.

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