Effort to deter criminals turns into traffic nightmare in S Delhi
New Delhi: Stuck in traffic snarls on Lala Lajpat Rai Road running past Lajpat Nagar towards Saket in south Delhi? Blame it on the barricades put up by the cops almost through the day to prevent street crimes such as snatchings. Having created the obstacles for this purpose, police have, however, failed to deploy additional force to manage the resulting traffic chaos.
The two barricades between Jangpura and Lajpat Nagar frequently cause a nagging jam stretching for nearly a kilometre during peak hours. Traffic turns chaotic when some drivers try to hurry past the checkposts and while the cops are too busy dealing with two wheelers.
Aware of the slowing of traffic by these barricades, Delhi Police had trained the personnel at the check posts to simultaneously carry out the dual task of scanning the motor cars and controlling traffic flow. But the daily reality has proved the optimism was misplaced. A police officer said, “We have directed the men to place the barricades in such a way as to allow passage to two vehicles at a time.”
The barricades aren’t too efficient in stopping violators. Helmetless pillion riders get off their two wheelers ahead of the barricade and walk past the cops before resuming their rides, while many cars slow down but don’t stop. “We have requested police to post more men or deploy a police vehicle to deter those who are wont to escape and also to keep the traffic moving,” said Pawan Munjal, member of an RWA in Jangpura.
Dependra Pathak, special commissioner, traffic, assured, “The barricades deter criminals looking for quick escape routes and the barricades are erected accordingly. At least two people should man these barricades and ensure minimum inconvenience to the public. If these instructions are violated, strict action is taken against police personnel.”
After 10pm, two pickets co- me up on this stretch of 4km or so with usually two policemen, sometimes more, manning them. But the cops admit that if they stop a vehicle and put it through a check, many others manage to evade scrutiny. And often enough, drivers who are flagged down stop in the middle of road and try to reason it out with the cops, causing a jam behind them.
“It takes more than half an hour to cross the stretch near Jangpura or another on Mathura Road near The Oberoi hotel because the road blocks are in a place where the road narrows and where there is bottleneck even during nonpeak hours,” said Swati Chaturvedi, a resident of GK-2 who works at ITO.
Traffic cops claimed the force analyses road pressure every hour and in case of heavy jams, requests the district police to remove the barricades to allow the bulk of traffic to pass. A police officer said, “We plan to increase the intervals at which the barricades are erected so there is space to effect diversions.”
Police have trained its personnel at checkposts to carry out the dual task of scanning the motor cars and controlling traffic flow