Ultimate test of your nerves, endurance

Travelling in and around the city during peak hours is a nightmare. In the first of a six-part series, Chandigarh Tribune reporter Ritika Jha Palial and photographer S. Chandan take the Airport road and explain how and why the situation has come to such a pass

          caught in a crawl

For commuters living in Zirakpur, who visit the city to reach their offices and education institutions everyday, spending a major part of their time on roads has become a compulsion.

A commuter, who starts afresh from home every morning, has to cover a distance of 6.7 km in 45 minutes, driving in a crawl applying brakes every two minutes and find the correct lane.

While cross-lane driving is a big problem in the absence of sync between the three directions of signals at the Airport and Hallo Majra lights t, the barricades put up at the entry point to Chandigarh from Zirakpur which block two of the three lanes on the road add to the woes of the commuters.

Tribune reporter Ritika Jha Palial and photographer S. Chandan travelled on the 6.7 km stretch of Zirakpur to the Tribune Chowk road, during normal as well as peak rush hours to find out the plight of the commuters who bear with the traffic mismanagement twice everyday.

Choke points

Hallo Majra light point, Airport light point and exit point of Chandigarh and entry point of Zirakpur (about 1 km ahead of Zirakpur main lights) are the main choke points of the area.

No sync between the three directions of the traffic signals

The signals for going straight, left and right do not work together at the Airport light point and the Hallo Majra light point. At both the light points, while the signals for going straight and left work together, there is a time lapse between the two and the right signal. This leads to confusion among the commuters everyday as cars lined up at the right lane, start moving leftwards blocking the traffic movement.

Barricades at entry point to Chandigarh-Zirakpur border point

Barricades placed on both sides of the road, block a major part of the road. This causes a slowdown in the movement of the traffic leading to a huge traffic jam. It usually takes about 10 minutes to cover the point from Zirakpur main light point.

Separate lane for two-wheelers

A separate lane for two wheelers runs parallel to the stretch between entry point to Chandigarh and Hallo Majra light point on both sides. While the purpose of the separate lane was to ensure smooth plying of cars and two-wheelers on separate lanes, only a few two-wheelers can be seen moving on the separate lanes. Others continue to ply on the main road. Also, a number of cars can be seen moving on the separate two-wheeler lane, leading to further mismanagement and cross lane driving.

Problems you have to grapple with

Kind of traffic: The commuters on this road include working class population, students and shop-owners.

Kind of vehicles: Majority of the vehicles include cars, followed by two-wheelers, buses and auto-rickshaws.

Presence of policemen managing traffic

  • Tribune Chowk: No policemen
  • Chowk dividing Colony Number 4 and Hallo Majra: Three policemen
  • Hallo Majra Chowk: No policemen
  • Airport Chowk: Four policemen
  • Zirakpur main light point: Four policemen
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