‘Defunct’ traffic signals create chaos on Jammu roads

JAMMU:While the newly appointed IGP Traffic Basant Rath has made tremendous efforts to streamline the “pampered” traffic system in Jammu, the ‘defunct’ signal lights, barring few, are creating chaos at many prominent locations thus bringing the city to a standstill. Even after more than 30 traffic lights, replaced with hi-tech ones, most of the signals either don’t blink, remain defunct or have no set timers. The new gadgets were installed at 40 locations across the Jammu City to streamline and set ‘out of control’ city traffic but surprisingly, the lights at many locations remain ‘non-functional’ thus giving free for all situation to the drivers and riders leading to long traffic jams.
“The traffic lights installed with fanfare, have failed to cater ot the traffic problem, which has improved a bit and people started obeying to these but the spots where the lights are not operating, bring life to a standstill due to choked traffic,” said a local. He said that most of the lights have either gone defunct or faulty, due to which the traffic problem instead of being resolved gets even worse. “New signal lights are hi-tech having video recording cameras, censors and other gadgets, which not only help in meeting the traffic snarls but at the same time identify the violators,” an official here said.
Confessing to the snag in most of the traffic lights, the officer asserted, “We are facing shortage of expert manpower due to which it is becoming hard to operate the traffic lights.” He, however, said that there are reports that some of the traffic cops, to avoid long hours duty, either switch off the signals or fix the timer, which leads to congestion as people are in a hurry and never wait of settling down of the traffic mess around.
Meanwhile, as per reports, the Jammu City has already entered into the ‘danger zone’ with regard to traffic scenario and the way, it is getting worst, one fine day, it will become impossible for people to move. Reliable sources also told this correspondent that at some of the sensitive locations, the traffic signals are ‘intentionally’ put on ‘switch-off’ mode to pave way for the VIP cavalcade, which hardly bother to stop on red light.
They added that traffic lights at some of the locations, including Asia Chowk, Bikram Chowk, Canal Head, Bakshi Nagar Point, Gandhi Nagar near mini market are mostly ‘out of order’ or with no set timers. “Sometimes the red light at both the ends create confusion among drivers/bikers and suddenly turns green for both the sides, which can cause a mishap,” they said.
Mini bus operators are the biggest violators of traffic signals and on seeing them, people too follow and jump the lights, sources said and added that the government must tighten noose against the mini bus operators, which will automatically bring down traffic mess in the city by some percentage.

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