Restrictions Create Traffic Havoc in City

SRINAGAR: Restrictions imposed to prevent Muharram procession threw life out of gear in uptown Srinagar on Wednesday. 

Authorities had imposed restrictions in the areas coming under police stations of Saheheed Gunj, Karan Nagar, Masiuma, Kothibagh, Batamalu and Ram Munshi Bagh. 

Police and para-military force personnel had placed mobile bunkers and laid down concertina wires on key entry and exit points in uptown to enforce restrictions. The curbs triggered chaos on the Srinagar roads as government forces deployed in strength prevented people from traversing through the areas under siege, including the city centre, Lal Chowk, Maulana Azad Road, Iqbal Park and Batmalu. People including tourists got stranded in their vehicles for hours while no one from authorities bothered to take them out from the mess.

Complete chaos ruled the city roads and hundreds of commuters and students appearing in the exams were either stopped or forced to take alternative routes by the police and CRPF amid traffic terror. 

The unending fleet of stranded vehicles stretched over miles haunted people who were seen fuming and cursing their fate.  Police and para-military troopers did not allow any vehicle to move towards Lal Chowk and stopped them near Ram Bagh, Munawar Abad, TRC Crossing, Batmalu and Karan Nagar which created chaos. 

Hundreds of vehicles took Mehjoor Nagar route and within minutes, the road leading to Jawahar Nagar and Raj Bagh was seen choked with traffic. Traffic chaos was witnessed on Abdullah Bridge, Lal Mandi Road, Solina Road in civil lines while most of the people wished to return to their home could not take turn and got stranded for hours missing their day’s assignments.

Reports said that entire Airport road stretch from Ram Bagh to Raj Bagh to TRC crossing was in a mess as unending gridlock of vehicles could be seen. The students heading towards schools or coaching classes were worst-hit as many of them could be seen crying as their vehicles remained stranded in areas including the Silk Factory road. For parents whose children had left by school buses, it was more of confusion and anxiety.      

“This is the ugliest part of the world. Here is no management, no government, and no authority, which could regulate things and bring some order. People manage things themselves while those who are at the helm of affairs care more about their protocol than about people,” said a tourist from Mumbai.

Large number of people including tourists were seen begging before the police and CRPF personnel near Radio Station Srinagar, seeking permission to move ahead where government forces had laid concertina wires to restrict the movement of people and vehicles.    

No vehicle was allowed to make entry into City Centre Lal Chowk. The Clock Tower was guarded by large number of troopers while police had laid barbed wires near Maisuma restricting the movement of the people.

Many flyers, including tourists had a tough time in reaching the airport. Scores of passengers missed flights because of the delay in reaching the airport. Patient care was also affected badly. An attendant said that government has taken people for granted and it cares a fig for them.

A top police official said that though restrictions were imposed in east and southern party of city, but heavy traffic jam was also witnessed in the old city. 

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