Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Short-lived Experiment?

Who will do the service when warranty on traffic lights expires?

In Srinagar Signals Are Turned Off to Avoid Vehicle Rush!

Faiqa Masoodi (Rising Kashmir)

Srinagar: While the summer capital is already infamous for lack of traffic sense, several spots in City are becoming commuters’ nightmare, due to non-functional traffic signals installed recently.Though the traffic lights installed at various busy junctions of the city came as a respite from the ever increasing vehicle rush, the technical faults have made many of them defunct.

Traffic lights installed at junctions like Karan Nagar Chowk, Jehangir Chowk, Sanat Nagar, Pantha Chowk, Radio Kashmir Srinagar, Zero Bridge remain out of order for most of the time. And if functional they either flash red or green lights only thus confusing the drivers.

Talking to Rising Kashmir, SP Traffic (City), Haseeb-ur-Rehman said the rush of vehicles is so huge especially in the evening hours that we have to turn off the signals and direct the traffic movement manually. “There are definitely some technical faults as we don’t have the advanced system for maintaining the traffic signals. The less roads and more number of vehicles has further added to our problems as the rush of vehicles is so immense that we prefer to turn off the lights,” the SP said. Adding he said the places like Rambagh, Dalgate witness such heavy traffic rush that the lights are of no use there at times. “These lights don’t work on the sensors but are automatically fixed with some time periods. So they can’t judge which road has more number of vehicles. They glow according to the fixed time and this, at times, adds to the traffic mess. That is why we prefer to put them off on the occasions of festival or during heavy rush of vehicles,” Haseeb-ur-Rehman said. Maintaining that the department is working on the technical issues, Haseeb said it is a big project and will be completed in a phased manner. “Our control room is ready and we are installing the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in it. That way we can watch the traffic flow on the important routes of the city and can also keep an eye on those who violate the traffic signals,” he said.

About the functioning of traffic lights in winters, the SP City said it entirely depends on the power backup. “Power Development Department (PDD) has also a role to play in winters as the lights cannot function without electricity. They have the maximum backup of eight hours only and need regular power supply,” said Haseeb-ur-Rehman. SMC Commissioner, G N Qasba did not answer the repeated calls.

No comments: