The traffic chaos witnessed in the last few days was nothing but an example of how the state has forgotten it’s job of creating infrastructure, and ensuring that rules and regulations are implemented on roads. Apart from this the lack of planning new modes of transport, better streets, and developing a mass transit system has led to a situation where cars and bikes have overwhelmed the city. Every resident seems to own a car because there is no option for comfortable travelling from one place to another. In the last two decades, migrants from Kashmir and other rural areas of the state have led to explosion of population and growth but there has been no matching improvement in infrastructure.
More than 8 lakh vehicles move every day on Jammu roads, and almost 65,000 are added every year, and the number will keep on increasing because we dont have a good transport system. The result is daily jams, noise pollution, air pollution, and the road rage which often turns violent. Accentuating the problem are those shopkeepers who consider half the road as their own like the street vendors, and hawkers who add to the space crunch. With few traffic policemen to manage the situation, and traffic lights installed with much fanfare but very few are functional now despite large amount of money being spent. Neither the municipal corporation nor the traffic police are able to remove the encroachments, and the reasons are obvious. The havoc created by mini-buses who no doubt are a good mode of public transport in absence of buses remains uncontrolled. These matadors stop wherever they want, are overloaded, driven rashly, and follow no rule. There is a major need to streamline the transport system, and also to build road infrastructure in Jammu else the city will be doomed very badly.