For half an hour every day, most people on Krishnapuram Road stay indoors, says K. Sarumathi
Most residents of Krishnapuram Road in Choolaimedu stay indoors between 8.30 a.m. and 9 a.m. because there is no point stepping out: the scary traffic block will not take them much further from their homes. Not everyone can do this, though. With a school on this stretch and a few more on the adjoining one, people have to navigate this stretch, which is as chaotic as can be with students riding cycles and parents parking their vehicles and dropping their wards.
During May, when the schools were shut, Sitaraman could reach his office on time taking this road. “The block is there only for a few metres near the school, but it takes easily 15 minutes to pull the vehicle out of the apartment and go past the sea of people. Though I need to be at office by 9 a.m., I only step out of the house after the traffic block clears,” he says, adding that in the afternoon it is the same situation when the schools close for the day. At other times, the road is quite free.
Mohan Krishnan has turned a deaf ear to people peevishly honking at him to remove his vehicle to let them go. “I have come to drop my grandchild at the school and people like me have no option but to park our vehicles on the road till our wards are safely inside the school. The school has not provided parking space despite having a huge playground on the campus. If the school would open it up for parents during the morning rush hour, the street would not get blocked,” he says.
The 20-feet wide street was also dug up recently for laying new water pipelines. It has been six months since the work was completed and the portion of the road is yet to be levelled and black-topped again. “It only adds to the problem. Children on cycles find it hard to ride on the uneven surface. At least this issue can be solved at the earliest,” says Shivakumar, who has a tea stall on the street and is a witness to the mayhem every day.
Many also complain about residents haphazardly parking their vehicles on the road. “Not all apartments and houses have a parking space, so people leave their vehicles on the road,” he adds.