Multiplicity of agencies causing traffic snarls in J&K: Drabu

SRINAGAR, Oct 17: Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu today blamed multiplicity of agencies as one of the causes for traffic mismanagement and called for a comprehensive policy to address the problem in the State.
“We need to formulate a comprehensive policy to manage traffic problems in urban and rural areas of the State. Multiplicity of agencies involved in management of transport sector is one of the causes of traffic mismanagement,” Drabu said while addressing the inaugural session of a seminar on “Traffic Management” at SKICC here.
The seminar was organised by Institute of Studies, Learning and Analysis (ISLA), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) promoted by State Police, to discuss and deliberate on the upsurge in the vehicular traffic and chalk out a strategy to deal with the challenge of frequent traffic snarls especially in the capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu.
Drabu said the two major factors responsible for the traffic mess are huge traffic interaction from rural areas with the cities and multiplicity of agencies responsible for management of transport infrastructure in the State.
To cope with these issues, the minister stressed the need for developing adequate infrastructure in key sectors like education and health in the rural areas so that people from the countryside do not have to visit the urban centres for such facilities.
“This will go a long way in Minimising the traffic interaction from rural areas with the city centres,” he said.
To deal with the issue of traffic congestion in the urban centres, Drabu said a comprehensive policy needs to be formulated so that the role of multiple agencies in transport sector is done away.
“The multiplicity of agencies has led to ineffective transport management in the State,” he said.
Member Parliament and ruling PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the uncontrolled growth in vehicular population was leading to traffic congestion on roads, besides increasing environmental pollution.
She further stressed the need for developing infrastructure and managing the existing traffic scenario by employing technological advancements.
“Cooperation from all stakeholders on the subject is imperative to bring improvement in traffic management,” she said and appreciated ISLA for organising the seminars aimed at improving traffic management in the State.
Transport Minister A G Kohli said the State Government has been addressing the problem by taking various initiatives on several fronts.
“Enforcement of traffic regulation and introduction of latest technologies, besides improvement in infrastructure have brought dividends,” he said.
The Minister said controlling road user behaviour by “preventive, persuasive and punitive” methods is necessary to ensure safe and efficient movement of traffic on the roads.
Director General of State Police K Rajendra Kumar said the aim of the seminar was to bring all the stakeholders on a single platform and discuss the current traffic scenario of the State.
“Police is trying to engage all the stakeholders including those from the Government, transporters, shopkeepers, tourist traders, street vendors as the conduct and behaviour of each stakeholder impacts the regulation of traffic and the road space available for the movement of traffic,” he said.
Late, while addressing the valedictory function, R&B Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari said that people as well as drivers have to share their responsibilities while using roads as every citizen has the right to use them. He said sharing responsibility on this account will not only save the precious lives of the citizens but also the property which the drivers possess.
MoS Housing Ashraf Mir, while speaking on the occasion, said that the need of the hour is to create requisite road infrastructure besides implementing traffic rules and regulations in letter and spirit.
Urging for focusing on road infrastructure, MoS Finance Pawan Gupta said that engineers of R&B Department have important role to play in this regard. He said potholes on the roads some time prove fatal and suggested to book those engineers failing to shoulder their responsibilities for their negligence under relevant laws.
Mohammad Shafi Pandit also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the importance of the programme.

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