Pathankot, January 5
Pathankot’s decades-old fight against traffic congestion has taken a new turn with the cops using the newly acquired expandable barricades at high-density traffic locations, enabling residents to commute smoothly, particularly in the inner parts of the city.
From 2000 till 2010, the city had to fight the menace of stray animals which caused accidents and traffic congestion alike. From 2010 onwards, hundreds of illegal auto-rickshaws drivers used to come early in the morning everyday creating chaos. On the busy city roads, their daily incomes did increase but so did the congestion. These factors became the driving force behind traffic problems in the city.
The police were at their wits’ end trying to solve the dilemma. At one time, on a conservative estimate, nearly 3,000 autos plied in the city, half of them from adjoining towns. And with private banks easily providing loans, the vehicle count also increased complicating things.
SSP Harkamal Preet Singh Khakh said that after studying the problem, the police hit upon the idea of putting up expandable barricades and taking the existing ones off the roads.
Residents claim ever since the new system has been put in place, the flow of traffic has been controlled to a large extent, if not fully.
A traffic officer said, “Expandable plastic barricades are easy to use and can be moved quickly wherever you need them. These are lightweight as compared to the ones we handled earlier, are impact resistant and can expand several feet wide.” These contraptions are also called ‘Kenchi’ (scissors) barricades.
The SSP said these barricades had been set up with much success at places where the traffic flow is heavy, including Gandhi chowk. “Suppose during the daytime, we have to check the flow of traffic in a particular area, but at night we have to open it up to vehicular traffic, then we use these barricades. They can be easily transported from one area to the other which was not the case earlier.”
With traffic snarls reduced considerably, traffic cops as well as the locals are breathing easy for now.