Even as long-pending ring road projects remain a distant dream, residents have raised concerns over the safety of schoolchildren, who have to travel on the same routes used by heavy vehicles, to get to their schools and back daily.
The drivers of heavy vehicles treat city roads as the national highway and drive rashly, they allege.
To get to the other side of the city, the trucks pass the main gates of many schools, including St Xavier's Convent School, Guru Nanak Dev Public School, Dashmesh Public School, MSD Public School, DAV Public School, Guru Ram Das Public School, Little Flower Public High School, St Joseph's Convent Senior Secondary School, Government Primary School, Police Public School and Guru Kashi Public School, putting students at risk.
The 100 ft, Power House, Bhagu, Dhobiana, Amreek Singh, Hazi Rattan, Bhatti, Bibi Wala, GT, Railway Colony and Multania roads remain badly affected by heavy vehicular traffic.While the residents are worried, the increased traffic has apparently given the traffic police a reason to cheer.
The traffic police had collected Rs 16 lakh fine from violators in 2011. In 2012, more than Rs 48 lakh were collected in the district.However, residents allege that the figures do not indicate an increase in vigilance or action against the truck drivers.
"The traffic police have become the earning hand of the state government in the hour of financial crisis. Policemen are in a race to impose fines on general commuters, but they turn a blind eye to the heavy traffic, which is actually their principal duty," alleged Bhavdeep Tahngi, management professor in the local government college.
Some residents also suspect that there is a nexus between the traffic police and heavy vehicle drivers, which allows the 'uninterrupted' flow of heavy traffic through the city.
"Payment is fixed for heavy vehicle drivers to pass through the city without any police action despite all kinds of violations, but this payment does not go into the government treasury. It goes into the pockets of the policemen," alleged a resident, refusing to be named.