A day after the fiasco of the Union Territory Traffic Police’s “circulation plan”, Director General (DG) of Chandigarh Police, Sanjay Baniwal, decided to drop the pilot project, saying he was not convinced with the diversion route. Analysing the map on Wednesday, Baniwal pointed out that Sector 26 grain market and Transport light point were the two major places where the plan collapsed completely, while Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Traffic, Shashank Anand blamed the narrow roads at Sector 26 and encroachments for adding to the chaos. The officers also said that many commuters added to the confusion by not following the route of the pilot project despite an awareness drive that preceded it.
The pilot project of the UT Traffic Police to ease congestion between Chandigarh and Panchkula during rush hours led to massive chaos on the route on Tuesday and hundreds of commuters found themselves stuck in jams. Such was the chaos and public outrage that the project was called off in the evening itself with a promise that it would be implemented afresh after some tweaks. But Wednesday, the DG said they had decided to drop it indefinitely.
Analysing the circulation route, DG Baniwal surmised that the diversion of the traffic to the Sector 26 grain market towards St Kabir School led to the chaos in the morning. Later, in the evening, the traffic coming from Sector 28 towards the Transport light point caused a blockage.
Baniwal said the plan aimed to decongest the traffic, but it did not work out well. “There are multiple issues, which led to its failure, and one of them is that the exit flow of the vehicles was not proper. Also, people entered into arguments with policemen on duty at some points, thereby adding to the chaos,” the DG said, asking the SSP, Traffic, to do a dry run on a smaller stretch.
Anand said since it was a first-of-its-kind experiment, it encountered some unforeseen problems. “The plan was presented before a traffic advisory committee around six months back and since then it is under discussion. The traffic diversions onto narrow roads adjacent to the Sector 26 grain market in the morning and Railway light point in the evening led to traffic jams at these points. We made some amendments in the map in the evening, but the narrow routes again led to a jam. Many commuters compounded the confusion by not following the planned route,” he said, adding they had run an ad campaign, requesting the public to avoid the grain market roundabout and Transport light point and move towards Tribune roundabout, still there was a huge flow of commuters. “Had there been lesser load at the grain market, there wouldn’t have been any problem”, said the SSP, Traffic.
Anand further said they will find solutions to these issues and do a trial run on a shorter stretch.