Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday directed traffic cops not to keep traffic blocked for long hours in the name of security route for the CM. Eyewitnesses told CNS that Chief Minister stopped his car near the entry point in Civil Secretariat Srinagar and sent directions to the traffic cops not to block traffic on his arrival to the Secretariat. Reports said that traffic cops had blocked the traffic shortly before the arrival of Chief Minister into the Secretariat. Long grid lock of traffic was seen on the Secretariat road.
An on-duty traffic police officer said that Chief Minister halted his vehicle at the entry point and forwarded a message to the officers, not to trouble to the commoners and accordingly they allowed the vehicles to ply on the road.
“This was the first time Chief Minister directed us not to block traffic on his arrival. From past six years we have been blocking the traffic after getting information about the arrival of Chief Minister,” he said.
“The Civil Secretariat Road Srinagar becomes a sight of traffic mess during the office hours because top government officials and law makers move to and from the Civil Secretariat and other offices. An ordinary cop like me cannot stop a senior police officer or a Minister moving with a squad of gunmen or any other top bureaucrat who do not usually follow traffic signals or lane rules,” another traffic cop said adding that it is a common practice in Kashmir to block traffic when CM or any top VIP is on the move.
Some pedestrians said that every day the commuters witness the “special status” on the roads enjoyed by the top government officials mostly guarded by armed policemen which naturally results into traffic mess, especially in rush hours.
“I work in a nearby school and have to commute daily on the Secretariat Road and witness how the ‘special’ vehicles followed by police vans violate lane discipline and traffic signals with ease. The police guards even force others from moving close to their vehicle while committing violations and even at many times, some of the security guards whirl canes in air and abuse the private drivers for not clearing road for their VIP ‘Master’,” Javid Ahmed, a teacher said.