The traffic policemen manning city roads seem to have shifted their focus from regulating smooth flow of vehicular movement to achieving the given target of issuing “challans” to traffic rules violators. Motorists have to struggle to find their way at busy traffic points due to prevailing chaos.
A single ride on city roads is enough to witness traffic policemen “pouncing” on the rider of a two-wheeler for violation of road safety norms, but ignore the chaos created by minibus operators, who can easily be spotted “greasing the palm” of law enforcers. The failure of “men in blue” to implement a proper traffic management plan to regulate vehicles has been adding to the chaos on city roads, which force motorists to take long roundabout routes to reach their destination. “Vehicles to Indira Chowk from Kachi Chawni are the worst affected by the ineffectiveness of the traffic police. There is no mechanism to regulate the movement of minibuses at Parade and long traffic snarls are a routine affair at this point. Private vehicles, including two-wheelers, again face long traffic mess at Shalamar where traffic policemen can be spotted issuing challans to two-wheeler riders, while ignoring the chaos there,” said Amit Kumar, a student at GGM Science College, who takes this route regularly.
Similar situation prevails at Indira Chowk, Bus Stand area, Jewel Chowk, Dogra Chowk, Bikram Chowk and other busy rotaries in the city. Sunil Sharma, a teacher in a private school, said, “Traffic policemen have virtually changed their priorities. They have restricted their work to just issuing challans and collecting fines from violators. Regulation of vehicle movement finds place at the lowest level of their priority list”. He points out that four to five traffic policemen pounce on a two-wheeler rider and surround him till their boss issues a challan for a traffic violation, but they would never bother to solve the traffic mess created by minibus operators, who generally stop their vehicle in the middle of the road, leading to long snarls. Official sources said the traffic policemen deployed at various spots had a “predetermined quota” of challans to file per day and their attention remained on just meeting their target. “Minibus operators pay ‘entry fee’ at every rotary and check point (defined by traffic police) on a monthly basis, which restrict men in blue to initiate strict action against such violations. It is the first and foremost duty of traffic policemen to regulate smooth flow of traffic which unfortunately finds no place in their rule book these days,” regretted a police constable.
Mohan Lal, Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Jammu, however, said they had been paying “due attention” to regulate traffic on city roads.