The traffic scene of Amritsar continues to go from bad to worse, thanks to bad policing, disregard for rules, and inadequate infrastructure. More vehicles out on roads shrunk by encroachment and made congested by scarce parking space have aggravated the problem. On the elevated road and the Kitchlew Chowk flyover, recent additions to the city’s infrastructure, accidents still do occur. Five people were killed on the Ajnala road descent of the flyover recently. Hindustan Times approached additional deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Shailendra Singh Shally to find out the measures being taken to streamline traffic in the city.
HT: Why is the traffic scene in Amritsar so bad?
ADCP: There are a number of reasons for that, the foremost being the lack of awareness among public about traffic rules. The traffic police do their best to educate people but they continue to disregard road safety even after we make them pay penalty.
Who do we blame for bad traffic management in the city?
The traffic police have to shoulder the blame usually but the other departments such as the municipal corporation also have to clear the roads of encroachment. Besides, the public should also cooperate.
We see no traffic police on important crossings but we catch them standing on roadsides, barely trying to manage traffic. What is being done to make them accountable?
This is not so. The traffic police do their job to the best of their ability. The number of traffic tickets they issue to the violators is a testimony.
What is being done to regulate traffic on the elevated road and the Kitchlew Chowk flyover, where accidents are common?
We have put up signs and barricades on these routes, besides installing speed breakers at the flyover.
Irrespective of the fact that a number of devotees and pilgrims visit the Golden Temple daily, the area remains a scene of traffic chaos. What is being done to solve that problem?
We have barred auto-rickshaws from the zone. Only small rickshaws, besides pollution-free battery-operated vehicles, are allowed in. Only people living nearby can take their vehicle in, while the devotees and visitors have to use the designated parking lots. The aim is to reduce congestion.