Vehicles to be diverted through Karuppa Gounder Street and Vysial Street

The traffic wing of the Coimbatore City Police tried out on Wednesday and Thursday a change in the traffic pattern on Raja Street and Oppanakara Street –both busy commercial areas – in order to ease congestion and avoid hold ups on Oppanakara Street, which is part of National Highway 209.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic-West) Raj Khanna said on Thursday that the stoppage of vehicles from Ukkadam at two points on Oppanakara Street -- the junction with Big Bazaar Street and also Raja Street --brought traffic to a stand still. In addition to the commuters, the traders in these areas were also affected by the frequent traffic snarls.

“Stopping of vehicles is inevitable at the Big Bazaar Street junction to enable pedestrians cross the road in the busy area.

The floating population goes up manifold during weekends and during auspicious occasions. The vehicles are stopped again at a distance of less than 150 meters to make way for the vehicles heading to Five Corner through Raja Street”, he said.

He said 60 per cent of the vehicles from the southern parts of Coimbatore, Pollachi and Palakkad pass through Oppanakara Street to reach the central parts of the city. The hold ups at these junction lead to a line up of vehicles till the Ukkadam Bus Stand”, the Assistant Commissioner said.

“The ongoing trial is to make Raja Street a one-way, so that vehicles will not directly enter Oppanakara Street from that road.

Instead, vehicles will be diverted through Karuppa Gounder Street and Vysial Street to reach Oppanakara Street.

The trial was conducted from 8.45 a.m. to 9.45 a.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday”, he added.

Twenty police personnel were involved in the trial, wherein they blocked about 20 lanes that connected the alternative route directly with Oppanakara Street.

Otherwise, vehicle users could use these lanes to violate the diversion.

Some people complained of difficulties during the trial, stating that this was conducted without prior information.

There is a mixed response from traders to the plan. Traders opposing the diversion plan alleged that the vehicles would have to take a two-km detour to reach Oppanakara Street-Raja Street Junction. On behalf of the traders, members of the Sri Vivekanandhar Peravai tried organising a road blockade on Thursday, condemning the traffic diversion trial by the police.

The Peravai’s State president C.S.G. Jalendran met Police Commissioner A.K. Vishwanathan and submitted a petition to him in this regard. “We have suggested cutting of entry of vehicles into Raja Street from Oppanakara Street than doing it the other way round, which will affect traders and commuters”, he said.

He added that diverting vehicles from areas such as Perur through the narrow Karuppa Gounder Street would make it unsafe for pedestrians and two-wheeler riders. One of the jewellers, who has an outlet on Raja Street, says when traffic is permitted to enter Raja Street to Oppanakara Street, the trade will benefit.

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