Shimla, June 3
Long queues of vehicles choked the roads in the Himachal Pradesh capital on Saturday following the discontinuation of the ‘one-minute traffic light plan’ for a day on trial basis.
The plan that was introduced last month by the Shimla Police to make Shimla jam-free was rolled back following some negative comments on social media platforms.
Besides roads, the long queues of vehicles were also seen in the peripheral areas of the parking slots, causing grave inconvenience to the locals and tourists alike.
The distance that could earlier be covered in just 10-15 minutes took hours, said a local.
A tourist said it took them an entire day to travel the 10-km distance from Kaithu to Sanjauli and then back.
Roads from Taradevi to Sanjauli and the circular road, also known as the Cart road, were choked with vehicles that were moving at a snail’s pace.
“It was a terrible drive and entering Shimla seemed like a nightmare,” said Jeffery, a tourist from Moga in Punjab.
Shimla Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi said, “Following some negative comments on social networking sites about the new traffic system, we decided to revert back to the original system on a trial basis, but long traffic jams blocked almost all the roads and we had to revert to one minute traffic plan by afternoon to ease the congestion.”
Over 20,000 vehicles have entered Shimla since Friday till Saturday, 4 pm, he told PTI, adding that in May about 11.06 lakh vehicles, including 2.09 lakh tourist vehicles, entered Shimla but there were no traffic snarls as the new plan worked.
The ‘one minute traffic cycle or one minute traffic light plan’ is based on time, number and space. Under this, the traffic is released every minute in the ratio of 40/20 or 30/30 seconds, implying that vehicles would be halted for 40 seconds and released for 20 seconds every minute during rush and released and halted for 30 seconds during normal times.
While introducing the initiative police had proposed setting up traffic lights at 10 points, also referred to as bottlenecks, to ensure smooth and hassle-free traffic movement in the city.
The new system would reduce the time to drive past the city during peak hours from 60-90 minutes to 15-25 minutes, they had claimed.
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