Ludhiana city came to a standstill on Thursday presenting a chaotic situation with long traffic snarls and persistent honking for several hours, especially between 10:30am to 2:30pm because of Bhagwan Valmiki’s murti darshan yatra that passed through Ferozepur Road en route to Hoshiarpur via Jagraon Bridge.
The procession is being undertaken for installation of six-feet high gold plated idol of Bhagwan Valmiki at Ram Tirath, Amritsar.
As the idol was being showcased in a special bus followed by a large number of devotees and live band performances, the traffic police temporarily blocked some parts of the Ferozepur Road and to ensure smooth flow of traffic, a sizeable contingent of traffic cops was deployed. But, majority of the commuters seemed impatient and turned a deaf ear towards their directions. Unfortunately, use of pressure horns was also rampant despite cops requesting the commuters to avoid the same.
Right outside the post office, two traffic officials were seen requesting a car driver to remain in his lane to avoid further chaos but, he did not mind flaunting his ID and went on to argue.
Besides Ferozepur Road, traffic on several nearby roads also remained disrupted as commuters, including buses and three-wheelers diverted their routes but there too, cops were struggling to manage the traffic.
“Usually, police is often blamed for failing to manage traffic but, residents themselves do not obey rules. A few pay heed to them. Had commuters obeyed the directions of police, the vehicular flow could have remained smooth. One can commonly spot locals arguing with police or flashing their VIP IDs,”lamented a shopkeeper at Ferozepur Road.
Jaspreet Kaur, a college student, said, “I feel with every passing month, traffic police has been increasing the number of cops on roads, who can also be seen leaving no stone unturned to manage the traffic flow but majority of the commuters do what they like, be it jumping traffic lights, overtaking, speeding and a non-stop honking, even when the light is red. Today, we may have blamed the police for failure in traffic management but what about regular days, what is our attitude then?”
Meanwhile, some denizens also gave suggestions for traffic police especially, if roads have to be closed temporarily or any such road procession has to reach the city.
“Through media, traffic police should always share any road closings/traffic diversions or road exhibitions and rallies, at least a day prior. Also, sign boards can be put up for any blockages ahead so that, the commuters can take alternate routes which will not intensify any chaos,”said 69-year-old Fateh Singh, a retired teacher.
On the other hand, as the exhibition bus reached Jalandhar bypass, the GT Road traffic was hit, including some NRIs who were on their way to Delhi or Amritsar airport.
“Why is GT Road not avoided for any rallies or exhibitions? What if we miss our night flight? Will traffic police make my travel arrangements for free? Or what, if an ambulance is on its way to the hospital?”questioned Aman Brar, a Jalandhar-based NRI who was travelling to Delhi airport to catch a flight to Sydney.
Another Phagwara-based NRI Gurinder Singh who had to fly to Los Angeles with his family said, “Exhibitions or rallies of any kind should never pass through major roads as it causes inconvenience to many,”lamented Singh.