India launches special enforcement drives to solve traffic jams

Oct 11, 2016, 08:00 am

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The crossing road of Huda City Centre in Gurugram. Vehicles, auto rickshaws, and people are entangled with each other./ Photographed by Jeong In-seo


By Jeong In-seo, New Delhi correspondent, AsiaToday – The Indian police officials revealed on Oct. 4 that it conducted a special enforcement drive against errant drivers for 45 days to solve traffic jams in New Delhi and Gurugram, and that the drive was successfully completed.

The police have fined as many as 85,000 traffic violators and collected fine of Rs 2 crore (KRW 3.3 billion) from them. This means 1880 vehicles were fined on a given day. These violators were fined for driving without a driving license, not wearing a safety belt, wrong parking, driving in the wrong direction, and more.

As a reporter, I visited the regions where the special drive was conducted for three days from Oct. 7 to 9.

Due to vehicles and motorcycles that drove in the wrong direction, the road turned into a parking lot./ Photographed by Jeong In-seo

First, I headed to Anand Niketan, South West Delhi. It is a place where residents in South Delhi and East Noida must pass through in order to use the highway leading to Gurugram.

The streets were flooded with vehicles around 4 p.m., an hour before office closing time. Roadwork caused a bottleneck phenomenon at the first lane high-level road. Then cars, motorcycles, and auto rickshaws that wanted to get into a narrow high-level road first were soon entangled. The worst thing was that they were stuck due to the vehicles that drove in the wrong direction.

The road turned into a parking lot and 20 minutes later, the traffic police appeared. The officer began to facilitate traffic by first fining the driver who drove in the wrong direction and then giving verbal warning to other drivers. But it was not enough to control the flooding traffic.  

Indian police stopped a traffic violator for driving in the wrong direction and not having a driving license./ Photographed by Jeong In-seo

Sandeep Kumar, 27, a traffic police officer who came from Noida to provide support activity, said, "Nothing has changed since the special enforcement drive was conducted." He added, "These things happen because people do not observe traffic rules." During the interview, the police stopped a driver for driving in the wrong direction. The police admonished the driver to be careful to keep traffic rules.

Indian roads are undergoing a serious bottleneck./ Photographed by Jeong In-seo

The next day, I headed to Gurugram's MG Road, where the special drive was conducted intensively. As I got out of the station, I was able to meet the number of illegally parked vehicles and auto rickshaws that were driving in the wrong direction. It was strange enough to think that there wasn't any accident.

I asked an auto rickshaw driver why he was driving in the wrong direction. He replied, "I can go 10 minutes faster if I go 100 meters in the opposite direction." When I expressed concern about the possibility of car crash, the driver said, "Don't worry. Accidents don't happen."


An auto rickshaw is driving in the wrong direction in Gurugran's MG Road./ Photographed by Jeong In-seo

A citizen who requested anonymity, said, "People who would wait several days to handle documents become impetuous as soon as they put themselves behind the wheel. Everyone gets affected by many people's greed to go quicker." He added, "It's not only about people, but also cattle."

A cow standing in the middle of road, interrupting the flow of traffic. Some drivers even choose to drive in the wrong direction to avoid cows./ Photographed by Jeong In-seo

Cows have been vanished from the streets of Delhi now. But sometimes, there are still cows that freely walk the streets. In India, white zebu cows are considered sacred.

I left MG Road, and headed to Huda City Centre, the worst traffic place during the drive. When I arrived around 7 p.m., the place was entangled with vehicles, motorcycles, and pedestrians. But the strange thing was that people and vehicles would pass by without any problem despite this confusion.


The road turned into a parking lot during the evening rush hour./ Photographed by Jeong In-seo

The main reason for such heavy traffic during rush hour is not simply because there are too many vehicles, but because there are too many wrong parking and wrong side driving as well as many jayworking people and cows. It seems almost impossible to solve the traffic problem with a mere traffic enforcement.

Currently, the Indian police authorities is planning to increase police manpower and carry out a thorough traffic enforcement to solve rush hour traffic, but the problem won't be solved without sound traffic consciousness of people.

#India #traffic jam #New Delhi #Gurugram #special enforcement 
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