For over a month now, commuters in Zirakpur are facing a harrowing time with daily traffic jams during the peak morning and evening hours.
People coming from Ambala to Chandigarh and from Patiala to Chandigarh were at the receiving end of things as the bottlenecks on the 3-km stretch slows them down by around two hours every day.
The situation becomes even worse on the weekends when commuters from other states take this route to reach Shimla.
Owing to a number of jam-prone stretches in the town, the traffic police also claim to be “helpless”. Jasbir Singh, a Zirakpur-based lawyer, told The Indian Express that the situation becomes “very difficult” for them during the peak hours when all roads going towards Chandigarh get blocked.
“The flyover did not seem to have helped eased out the traffic in the town. Moreover, there is no alternative road for the commuters coming from Delhi and going to Shimla. They have to go via Zirakpur, and this adds to the existing traffic load that the city sees during the weekens,” he added. Sukhdev Chaudhary, the president of Joint Action Committee of Residents Welfare Association (JAC), said that the administration had to look into other options such as installing more traffic lights on Zirakpur-Patiala road to halt the traffic so that it is averted at the Patiala chowk.
He added that the traffic on the stretch moves at a snail’s pace due to several bottlenecks. “The stretch near the underpass site sees a bumper-to-bumper traffic during rush hours in the morning and evening. The situation has become worse now and one has to wait for around two hours twice daily for a to and fro journey. The situation has not improved even after installing more traffic lights,” he said.
Traffic police officer, however, said that the criss-crossing vehicles on the intersections of Patiala chowk, McDonald’s lights, Singhpura chowk and shortage of traffic police personnel to reign in the situation were behind the daily snarls.
“At present, the traffic police strength in Zirakpur is 27 and there are 17 points that are prone to long traffic jams,” the officer said, adding that without adequate officers, it becomes difficult for them to do the job on the ground.
The 17 traffic-prone areas that have been identified by the police include Nabha Sahib light point, Lohgarh crossing Chatt light point on Zirakpur-Patiala road. Apart from these, the road towards Bhawaat, Panchkula-Kalka turn, K-Area light point, Chandigarh barrier and Singhpura light point are among the other traffic-prone areas that causes maximum inconvenience. Zirakpur traffic in-charge inspector Sukhdeep Singh said that the vehicular volume had increased a lot but the
number of constables are the same and this contributes to the traffic problem.