After referring to Srinagar Mayor, Junaid Azam Mattu as “cabbage”, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Traffic, Basant Rath censured him on Friday informing Mattu that traffic management in the summer capital was not his domain.
Mattu, the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party-Peoples Conference backed candidate, who was elected Mayor this week tweeted, “Have received numerous complaints about traffic mismanagement issues in the city. I have spoken to the SP Traffic (Urban) and sought a review of current traffic diversions and plans.”
Responding to Mattu’s tweet, the outspoken IGP Traffic shot back writing, “Not your domain. Traffic diversion at Jehangir Chowk is a compulsion. The vendors have created a mess on Amira Kadal-HSHS-Maharaja Bazar-LD Hospital stretch. SMC needs to clear the mess.”
Meanwhile, Twitter users favoured Rath asking Mattu to get SMC in order.
Raies Mir, a netizen wrote, “It's not traffic mismanagement. What is mismanaged is occupation of road by vendors and display of groceries by shops on road at Hari Singh High street, Maharaja Bazar, Amira Kadal Bridge, Old Court Road , Batmaloo, Qamarwari, Nowhatta, Dalgate, and what not.”
Neyaz Elahi, another netizen, wrote, “Why vendors occupy our roads especially at Amira Kadal, HSHS and shopkeepers are allowed to keep their merchandise outside shops. You need to expose elements, who encourage these vendors and shopkeepers. How long people will suffer due to vote bank politics...Please do something.”
Mattu had earlier said that he had directed the SMC help with decongestion of alternate routes for some relief.
Earlier, Rath referred to Mattu as “cabbage” for his comments pertaining to the wetlands in Srinagar on the day he won the Mayoral election.
“Wetlands are precious and a vital part of our ecosystem. Only a cabbage will think otherwise,” Rath wrote without naming Mattu who had questioned as to why the city needed to focus more on protection of wetlands.
Responding to Rath after being tagged by a Twitter user, Rath wrote, “That's fine. He's unwell. Don't worry.”
Clarifying his comments, Mattu wrote, “No, I haven't said what do not need wetlands for. I have said commercial growth can't be stigmatized and frowned upon. We need to strike a balance between the commercial needs of Srinagar and maintaining its ecological balance.”
The spat between the two has been going on since Rath, soon after taking over as IGP Traffic, Jammu stopped Mattu’s vehicle in the winter capital.
Soon after the incident, Mattu shared Rath’s video of slapping a man.
“A power drunk IPS officer slapping a poor young man repeatedly outside Press Enclave in Srinagar, just because he objected to being abused. Where are the fan boys and fan girls now? Didn't I tell you, it was a matter of time?" Mattu wrote with the video.