Various plans of the Chandigarh traffic police to improve traffic movement and regulate it better seem to be facing roadblocks as out of total 171 traffic plans, only 27 have been implemented by the Chandigarh administration and municipal corporation in the past three years.
Sample this: construction of slip roads with proper signage at various points, installation of foot overbridge in Sector 26 and inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) in Sector 43, drunken driving signage at major roads and intersections, fixing of rumble strips on accident-prone points in the city, provision of under pass roads on V-3 roads, provision of subway near ISBT-43 and installation of boards of authorised fare to be charged by taxi operators at railway station, ISBT-17 and -43 and at the Chandigarh airport are some of the plans on which the administration has been dragging its feet for the past many years.
These proposals were made on the basis of ground surveys conducted by the traffic police from time to time. The road safety cell of Chandigarh traffic police has been given the responsibility of following up the progress with the UT engineering department and the MC.
The traffic police have identified over 20 snarl-up points across the city where it needs to focus to curtail traffic woes. Various points identified as “jam points” and “accidentprone areas” include Housing Board light point, Railway light point, Grain Market roundabout, Matka Chowk, Sector 16 cricket stadium roundabout, Sector 17 ISBT roundabout, Sector 22/23/35/36 roundabout (Kisan Bhawan), Sector 23/24/36/37 ( Batra roundabout), Sector 35/36/42/43 (Attawa roundabout), and Poultry Farm roundabout etc. With highest vehicle density in the country, traffic congestion has made driving through these points, especially during office hours, a difficult task.
Ashwani Kumar, who is a manager at a mall and commutes daily from Dhanas to Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park, said the traffic problem had worsened over the years and driving in the city was no more comfortable.
In the past, Punjab and Haryana high court on several occasions pulled up the traffic police for its failure to address the ever- increasing trafficrelated issues. Around 90 fatal accidents have been reported so far this year, and majority of them took place at the stretches identified by the cops. From 2008 to till date, over 900 people have lost their lives in road accidents in the city.
Criticising the administration for its lax approach, citybased social activist RK Garg said, “Traffic is one of the main problems that will get worse if corrective measures are not taken. The administration and MC should implement the pending plans at the earliest.”
When contacted, UT senior superintendent of police (traffic) Maneesh Chaudhry said each proposal was made after conducting a detailed study. “Majority of traffic-related issues will be resolved if our proposals are executed by the engineering departments of the administration and the MC,” said Chaudhry. He further said they have written to both authorities for implementation, but in vain.
UT chief engineer SK Chadha said they have started working on execution of various proposals. Explaining the reasons for the delay, he said, “For executing a proposal a time consuming exercise is carried which involves checking feasibility, preparing estimates and tendering.”
MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand also blamed the lengthy process involved for executing any project for the delay.