Srinagar: Ahead of Eid-Ul-Fitr, a record number of over eight lakh vehicles hit the summer capital of Srinagar for the festive shopping, mainly in the Central Business District (CBD) here.
It is for the first time that such a big number of vehicles were seen in the city. Official sources said the traffic police had asked its cops, deployed at various entry points to the City, to keep hourly track of vehicles driving in. Though it was not to be a precise exercise, we wanted to keep tentative track of the inflow. But the results were stunning, said a traffic police official.
He said majority of vehicles, which drove into the City, over 90 %, made it to the CBD, which spans between the Batamaloo and Dalgate artery running through the heart of Srinagar.
The Valley has some 3,00,000 vehicles registered, of which, Srinagar has the 16,7963 excluding those of Paramilitary, Army, and tourists.
Interestingly, though some traffic snarls were witnessed on the roads connecting to the CBD, the traffic movement was largely normal in the City centres areas like Jahangir Chowk, Lal Chowk, Residency Road, and Poloview.
The Kashmir Traders and Manufactures Federation media head, Farhan Kitab, who runs a shop at the fashionable Residency Road, said the traffic flow was hassle-free. Things worked exceptionally well this time as the SSP Traffic Srinagar had taken us into confidence before coming up with traffic regulation program, Kitab said.
He said the persistent patrolling by the flying squad bikers of Traffic Police bike was a good initiative. Their patrolling prevented any traffic jams in the commercial hub, which would otherwise witness mess, he said.
This year, the traffic regulation for the festive shopping had emerged a challenge for the government as the main arterial connectivity to south City and the highway, has been closed, in the wake of ongoing construction of the Jahangir Chowk Ram Bagh flyover. The traffic mainly flows down the Batamaloo corridor.
A top official working in the Police Control Room said it was unbelievable to watch the massive flow of vehicles on the monitors, getting live feeds from CCTVs installed at various strategic locations, across the City.
It was a bumper-to-bumper flow of vehicles as we often couldnt keep track of number plates of vehicles driving down towards the City center, as a part of surveillance exercise we undertake for security reasons, the official said asking not to be identified.
The old City areas, however, complained of having been ignored. For us the driving blues started the movement we took a left on MA road towards Munawarabad, as there were rarely any traffic cops deployed on the route ahead, said Mustafa Khan a resident of Soura.
For traffic police on the other hand it was a tough day, as roadside protests against water shortage in areas like Mominabad only added to congestion., when protesters disrupted traffic We had to give some instant diversion to keep the traffic moving There might have been slow down, but we avoided traffic jams, said a traffic cop on the Tengpora highway.
Senior officials of traffic police equally spend the day on the roads keeping track on movement of vehicles. See have been trying our best and equally thank the people for their cooperation, SSP Traffic MAqsood Uz Zaman told Kashmir Observer.
He however complained that some parents were unduly pampering their minor kids to take to the drivers seat for the festive shopping. This should be discouraged, he said while counselling parents of a schoolboy who was driving the car while his father was sitting next to him.
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