By: Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed over 100 percent increase in traffic since 2008 with very less road widening done over these years.
Sources said the inadequate traffic personnel for manning the traffic movement in Jammu and Kashmir was the main reason for traffic mess and the narrow roads have turned the situation worse.
According to the official figures of the Traffic Department, the number of vehicles in J&K was 6,68, 445 in 2008. While as in the year 2010, 2011, 2012; it increased traffic percentage of 10.34, 11.92 and 11.98 percent respectively and their number reached to 9,16,898 by 2012. Around 14 lakh vehicles are now registered in Jammu and Kashmir indicating 100 percent increase for the last 14-years.
“Least road widening has been done over the years while the number of vehicles has increased to 14 lakh from 6,68, 445 in 2008. Less than 20 percent of road widening has been done during this period of time,” a senior official of the Traffic Department told a local news gathering agency.
Official sources said the rash driving by the ill-experienced drivers was the main reason for increasing road accidents in Jammu and Kashmir.
The percentage of deaths in road accidents in the Valley is 66 percent as compared to the 37 percent at the national level.
The official said it has been seen that licenses were being issued even to minors and many do not qualify the driving test which is mandatory for getting the license.
He said the government has failed to widen the roads as various road widening projects have been stalled due to ill-planning.
A senior official in the Regional Transport Office said traffic jams were primarily a result of failure in planning by other departments.
He said traffic police personnel were delivering their best to cope with the traffic mess as there has been an alarming increase in traffic vehicles.
“The upper authorities have to take the decision as no major recruitment drive has been conducted in the past decade. We are not able to cater the traffic movement due to inadequate number of traffic personnel,” the official added. (KINS)