Dis­re­gard for traf­fic rules leads to chaos on roads

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Lucknow - (The writer is a cor­po­rate lawyer and so­cial ac­tivist.) S MO­HAM­MAD HAIDER

Wind­ing rivers of red tail lights, wind­ing away into the night,

All stuck in a jam and hav­ing re­gret, no land speed records be­ing set…

These lines de­scribe the predica­ment of a com­mon man on the road, caught in traf­fic jams, which have be­come, more of a rou­tine for the cit­i­zens of our beau­ti­ful city, ir­re­spec­tive of the place they live in.

If we talk of the busiest traf­fic route of Lucknow, it would be no other than the stretch from Hus­sain­ganj Cross­ing to Sikan­darbagh Cross­ing. Spread over an area of roughly 4 km, the stretch has some of the most im­por­tant of­fices hav­ing huge foot­fall daily.

These es­tab­lish­ments in­clude the Pass­port Ser­vice Ken­dra at Ratan Square, the All-In­dia Ra­dio, the Po­lice Ser­vice and Re­cruit­ment Board, Bapu Bhawan on Vid­han Sabha road, the Vid­han Bhawan, the Lok Bhawan, the BJP of­fice, the Veeran­gana Jhalka­ribai Hos­pi­tal, Jawa­har Bhawan and Indira Bhawan, Shakti Bhawan on Ashok Marg etc. These of­fices ac­count for a large num­ber of ve­hi­cles on this route.

Dis­re­gard for traf­fic rules leads to chaos on roads mak­ing road travel dif­fi­cult. The dis­re­gard is not merely on part of gov­ern­ment, but also on our part as many a times, we do, in or­der to meet time­lines, vi­o­late traf­fic rules.

The sight of peo­ple park­ing their ve­hi­cles on the road to get gro­ceries is not un­com­mon. In ad­di­tion, de­spite there be­ing a ‘free left turn’ at the GPO cross­ing, ev­ery time we can wit­ness ve­hi­cles, which are to move straight, are parked on the left leav­ing al­most no room for traf­fic to move freely on the left.

Ve­hi­cles parked at the gates of gov­ern­ment build­ings de­spite the ‘no park­ing’ sign­boards be­ing dis­played spell out our own ap­a­thy, as some­where in our mind, we jus­tify our ne­glect by cit­ing that when a gov­ern­ment ve­hi­cle is parked il­le­gally, we have all rights to park our ve­hi­cle as well.

Metro work go­ing on in the city over the last two years and de­mon­stra­tions on this road by po­lit­i­cal and so­cial groups has added to the woes of com­muters. The most trou­bled are those who have to meet a time­line, the worst af­fected are school-go­ing kids, of­fice-go­ers and pa­tients strug­gling to reach med­i­cal aid in time.

A lot of money is spent by gov­ern­ments on spruc­ing up the city, but scant at­ten­tion is paid to­wards traf­fic rules aware­ness and ad­vanc­ing of traf­fic reg­u­lat­ing ma­chin­ery. We con­tinue to stick to our ar­chaic traf­fic man­age­ment sys­tem, which fails to curb traf­fic men­ace aris­ing out of in­nu­mer­able four wheel­ers and sig­nal-less in­ter­sec­tions.

Many im­por­tant cross­ings do not even have work­ing traf­fic lights and a full­time traf­fic cop, lead­ing to vi­o­la­tion of traf­fic sig­nals. Il­le­gal park­ing fur­ther de­te­ri­o­rates the con­di­tion of traf­fic on roads of Lucknow.

En­croach­ments on roads by squat­ters, ven­dors, taxis and buses, con­struc­tion of il­le­gal com­plexes sans any park­ing space, and ap­a­thy of cops in en­sur­ing that en­croach­ments once re­moved do not crop up again are the other is­sues

Time has now come for the pow­ers that be to be strin­gent in ap­pli­ca­tion of laws like the Met­ros where wrong­do­ers are pe­nalised on the spot.

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