Puneet Gupta/Akanksha Gupta
There is barely anyone in Jammu today who would not complain about the mess that the traffic in Jammu has become. We only complain about how the traffic police and the planning authorities have failed to improve things. However, that is not entirely true. U4UVoice approached SSP Traffic, Jammu, Mohan Lal to find out what his team is doing to leverage Jammu out of the building chaos of traffic.
U4U: There are several spots in Jammu with round the clock traffic jam which worsens especially during the rush hours. What is Traffic Police in Jammu doing to cure the situation?
SSP: There are about 15 pressure points in Jammu including Vikram Chowk, Jewel Chowk, Canal Road area, High Court Road among others where you can spot high density traffic at any hour of the day. These are the busiest places in the city in terms of traffic. There are new challenges behind that. At Vikram Chowk for instance, the ongoing construction of flyover has narrowed the road to almost half and disturbed the systemic conduct of traffic. To overcome the issue, the department has deployed a higher number of men as against normal at these pressure point who check the regularization of traffic round the clock.
The department is also making sure that the matador stands in the city are being utilized properly. This will avoid congestion of roads by people who wait for Matadors to come at any point on the roads. The Matador drivers have been told strictly to only stop by the stands and not in the middle of the road.
We are also renovating bus stops which had been encroached because of lack of use. Once the matador drivers develop this habit to stop only at the designated place (the stands), people will see much smooth traffic on Jammu roads. Of course cooperation of the commuters is highly solicited here.
U4U: Though checking for drugs in vehicles is not the Traffic Police’ mandate, but is the traffic police doing something outside its own prescribed duty realm to help the society on this front?
SSP: The traffic department is authorized to check the smooth flow of traffic and following of traffic rules. But yes, if we any receive specific information, we then stop and detain the vehicle and report to the nearest police station.
U4U: Being in public domain 24X7, your personal life gets affected. How do you balance it?
SSP: My duty starts at 8 in the morning and continues till 8 in the evening. On special occasions, it continues till late hours. Obviously, personal life gets affected but everyone finds ways to balance things. In my case, luckily, my wife is working in a government department, so, she can very well understand. On my part, I also try to give as much time to my family as I can. She works harder than me because she spends time with the children as well.
U4U: There are many banquet halls on Jammu-Akhnoor Road which means high traffic on that road during the wedding season. What arrangements have been made by traffic department to deal with this issue?
SSP: We have derived some strict measures to ensure the prevention of idle parking on the roads which is the main reason of traffic on that road. People in Jammu defy standard rules and park anywhere, which becomes the main reason behind the congestion of the road and if that can be avoided, it will help smooth flow of traffic.
We are putting our best efforts into making the people aware of the importance of following traffic rules and are hopeful that people will cooperate. Awareness does wonders and Jammu definitely has dutiful people.
U4U: Earlier it was reported that there is a shortage of man power in the department. Has the problem been remedied?
SSP: Yes, we are still struggling and for now we have been getting additional men from the Police Headquarters.
U4U: Your message for the general public
SSP: All I would like to request people is to please follow the traffic rules. Please avoid wrong parking. Do not force the matador drivers to stop in between the road. Develop the habit of using matador stands. Also, if you see any matador driver indulging into rash and negligent driving, please report to the traffic department. Those inside the matadors can take a lead as our numbers are posted inside the matadors and local buses.