No-vehicle zone: Smooth ride on Day 1 in Ludhiana
A day after police commissioner Rakesh Agrawal ordered to make five areas of the city as no-vehicle zones in view of festive rush, the move yielded positive results on its launch day on Tuesday, except for a few hiccups in Ghumar Mandi.
The no-vehicle zones have been created from Aarti Chowk to Ghumar Mandi Chowk; Girja Ghar Chowk to Division number 3 police station chowk; Kipps Market; Urban Estate Dugri Phase 1 market; and Gol market in Jamalpur. Apart from this, the Gol market in Model Town has been declared a one-way traffic zone.
Tweaks for Ghumar Mandi
The shopkeepers in Ghumar Mandi rued low footfall on Tuesday morning as even the connecting roads to the market were closed, due to which customers were seen parking their vehicles along the service lanes of Ferozpur Road. Even the vehicles wishing to enter the Ghumar Mandi market from Aarti Chowk were not allowed to enter till 2.30pm, due to which commuters had to take a detour from alternate routes.
Pawan Batra, president of the market association, said, “There was no customer till 1pm, following which the shopkeepers decided to meet the police commissioner and asked him to change the policy. “There is a slump in the market already and the festive season is the prime time for us. We cannot afford such trials at this stage. We have asked the police chief to hold the trial on other days,” he said.
Following the police commissioner’s intervention, it was decided that the Ghumar Mandi market will follow the old model of one-way traffic zone till 6pm. The vehicles were then allowed to enter from Aarti Chowk towards Ghumar Mandi Chowk while only two-wheelers were allowed the other way round.
Assistant commissioner of police (ACP, traffic) Gurdev Singh said, “The area from Aarti Chowk to Ghumar Mandi Chowk will remain a no-vehicle zone till 11am and one-way traffic zone till 6pm; and no-vehicle zone thereafter.”
Status at other zones
A visit to the remaining four zones revealed that the traffic mostly remained smooth from morning till late evening.
However, commuters had to struggle to find space to park their vehicles away from Kipps Market which was closed for vehicle entry and the road opposite to it was made one-way.
Though residents said though it is quite a change to see less congestion in the market, they said the police department and the municipal corporation (MC) should make proper parking space available beforehand.
Shivani, a resident of Krishna Nagar, who was at the market to get mehndi applied on her palms, said she had heard about the no-vehicle zone in the morning, so she planned not to go via own car to the market and booked a taxi instead. “Such initiatives are a must, but at the same time, there should be ample parking space near the market,” she said.
Sagar Soni, a businessman from Dugri, who was at Dugri Phase 1 market to purchase grocery items, said, “There is space available alongside the market which is well-utilised as a parking space. The move should be extended to other areas too.”
ACP (traffic) Gurdev Singh said, “I and traffic deputy commissioner of police Sukhpal Singh Brar are visiting the zones. We are getting satisfactory feedback from the public.”
Police commissioner Rakesh Kumar Agrawal said the move to create five vehicle-free zone in the city will not only reduce traffic congestion in markets but will also inculcate a sense of security among women on upcoming festival of Karva Chauth. “We noticed a decrease in congestion on the first day and are hoping that the experiment will pay off,” he said.