Waking up to the problem of encroachment which has added to the traffic woes in the city, deputy commissioner Varun Roojam convened a meeting of officials concerned on Wednesday and issued strict directions for removal of all types of encroachment from the roadsides and ensure compliance with traffic rules.
However, in the past the traffic police and civic officials have failed to clear roads of illegal occupation due to political pressure or resistance by the squatters. The problem has been aggravated by haphazard parking on roads, leaving very little space for the traffic to move.
Though traffic police officials patrol the city regularly, they also tend to ignore irregular parking if vehicles and other minor traffic violations. Traffic remains blocked in Clock Tower Chowk, Phagwara Chowk, Sutehri Road, Kotwali bazaar, Gauran gate, Bassi Khwaju and the bus stand area. The problem is particularly bad during peak hours.
Traffic lights often remain out of order. Mini bus and tempo drivers make sudden halts, causing harassment to commuters coming behind. There is a ban on plying of heavy vehicles in the city during the day hours, but it has never been implemented.
Trucks and tempos can be seen off loading throughout the day, in violation of prohibitory orders. The Mall road too is turning into a 'Rehri' road.
Much of the problem is caused by lack of adequate parking space in the city but if strict measures are taken, traffic congestion can be reduced considerably. The municipal council and traffic police undertake anti- encroachment drives from time to time but the attempts are half-hearted.
The DC, who has recently joined the district, said that the new initiative would definitely bring order on streets.