KL NEWS NETWORK
Minister for Finance, Labour, Employment and Culture, Dr Haseeb Drabu Saturday called for formulating a comprehensive policy to manage traffic problems in urban and rural areas of the State. He said multiplicity of agencies involved in management of transport sector was one of the causes of traffic mismanagement.
Speaking at the inaugural session of a seminar on “Traffic Management in Jammu and Kashmir” organized by Institute of Studies, Learning & Analysis (ISLA) at SKICC here today, Dr Drabu said two major factors responsible for the traffic mess are huge traffic interaction from rural areas with the cities and multiplicity of agencies responsible for management of transport infrastructure in the State, an official statement said this evening.
To cope up with these issues, Dr Drabu stressed the need for developing adequate infrastructure in key sectors like education and health in the rural areas so that people from the countryside don’t have to visit the urban centres for such facilities. “This would go a long way in minimizing the traffic interaction from rural areas with the city centres,” he said.
Dr Drabu said to deal with the issue of traffic congestion in the urban centres, a comprehensive policy needs to be formulated so that the role of multiple agencies in transport sector is done away. “The multiplicity of agencies has led to ineffective transport management in the State,” he said.
Addressing the seminar, Member Parliament, Mehbooba Mufti said the uncontrolled growth in vehicular population was leading to traffic congestion on roads, besides increasing environmental pollution. She stressed the need for developing infrastructure and managing the existing traffic scenario by employing technological advancements. She said cooperation from all stakeholders on the subject is imperative to bring improvement in traffic management.
Mehbooba appreciated ISLA for organizing such seminars aimed at improving traffic management in the State.
Minister for Youth Services & Sports, Imran Raza Ansari said effective traffic management is need of the hour to overcome the problems of frequent traffic snarls. He said there is huge scope of improvement in traffic management through introduction of more advanced technology and stricter enforcement of traffic regulations.
Minister for Transport, A G Kohli said the State government has been addressing the problem by taking various initiatives on several fronts. Enforcement of traffic regulation and introduction of latest technologies, besides improvement in infrastructure have brought dividends, he said.
The Minister said controlling road user behaviour by preventive, persuasive and punitive methods is necessary to ensure safe and efficient movement of traffic on the roads.
Earlier, deliberating on the objective of the seminar, Director General of Police (DGP), K Rajendra Kumar, said the aim is to bring all the stakeholders on a single platform and discuss the current traffic scenario of the State. He said maintenance of transport infrastructure is responsibility of many agencies which include H&UDD, R&B, SMC, SDA, LAWDA, Transport Department and ERA, besides many other private and government organizations are acting as support agencies. However traffic regulation is the sole responsibility of traffic police, he added.
DGP expressed the hope that the seminar would come up with strategies to deal with the issues related to better traffic management in the State. He said that expertise and valuable opinion shared by the panellists will immensely help in visualizing a better traffic scenario for the State.
Rajendra said the police is trying to engage all the stakeholders including those from the government, transporters, shopkeepers, tourist traders, street vendors as the conduct and behaviour of each stakeholder impacts the regulation of traffic and the road space available for the movement of traffic.
Director ISLA, S M Sahai, while highlighting the role of the Institute said it conducts studies on various issues related to policing, besides undertaking activities related to the development of youth and student community. He said ISLA was registered with state government in 2008, whose membership is limited to senior functionaries of the government and eminent civil society members having extraordinary expertise in different issues with bearing on public life.
Sahai thanked the participants for enlightening the seminar about their views on traffic management. He assured that the suggestions put forth by the speakers would serve as a guideline to formulate a new traffic strategy in the State.
In the business sessions of the seminar, panellists including IGP (Crime), Muneer Ahmed Khan, former DG Tourism, Mr Mohammad Ashraf, DGM RITES, Sudeep Gupta, President IRTE, Dr Rohit Baluja, Civil Engineer NIT Srinagar, Mohammad Shafi Mir, Project Director AIDS Control Society, Dr Saleem-u-Rehman, DIG Traffic Kashmir, Alok Kumar, former SMC Commissioner, G N Qasba, Journalist, Majid Hyderi, Chief Town Planner, Iftikhar Ahmed, Jatinder Koshak and President Private Schools Association Kashmir, G N War deliberated on the traffic infrastructure, safety and regulations.