Srinagar Needs Public Transport System

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)

Srinagar is now grappling with a modern-day menace: relentless traffic congestion. The latest data reveals that Kashmir recorded over 69,000 vehicle registrations in the fiscal year 2023-24, with Srinagar alone contributing more than 26,000 new vehicles. This surge in vehicle registrations has brought Srinagar's total vehicle population to over 335,000, exacerbating the already critical traffic situation.

The chaos on Srinagar's streets is a daily spectacle, particularly during peak hours. The stretch from the tourist Reception Centre through Lal Chowk to Hari Singh High Street and onward to Rambagh transforms into a gridlocked nightmare. More than 62% of the Valley's traffic converges into the city each day, clogging its limited road infrastructure. This situation is worsened by the city's exponential vehicle growth, which has outpaced the expansion of its road network.


Despite the implementation of several infrastructure projects, such as the accelerated construction of the flyover connecting Hari Singh Street with Rambagh, these measures are insufficient to alleviate the burgeoning traffic woes. The planned ring road, while a significant project, will primarily connect the city's peripheries and may not adequately address the core congestion issues within the city.

The crux of Srinagar's traffic problem lies not only in the sheer volume of vehicles but also in the lack of a viable public transportation system. While private vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, and scooters, dominate the roads, the city has seen a meager registration of 575 buses and mini-buses in the past year. This imbalance indicates a heavy reliance on personal vehicles, contributing significantly to traffic congestion and pollution.

To mitigate this situation, a paradigm shift towards public transport is urgently needed. A well-structured, reliable, and efficient public transportation network can serve as a viable alternative to personal vehicles, reducing the number of cars on the road and easing congestion. The introduction of modern buses, trams, and even metro lines could revolutionize the way people commute within the city. Integrating these systems with existing infrastructure and ensuring their accessibility and affordability will encourage more residents to opt for public transport over private vehicles.

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Urban planners and policymakers must adopt a forward-thinking approach, anticipating future growth and transportation needs. This involves not only expanding the road network but also prioritizing the development of sustainable public transport solutions. Investment in public transport will not only alleviate traffic congestion but also contribute to a cleaner and more environmentally friendly city.


Kashmir Observer

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