With the extended Easter weekend now in progress here giving a wake-up call vis a vis traffic management, the hope of the people is that an effective plan of action to ensure smooth flow of traffic will be put in place by the authorities concerned before the season enters its peak period.

For the last few days the flow of tourists - particularly those coming by cars - has been good. While this has brought cheer to those dependent on tourism for a livelihood and strengthened a theory floated by some observers that the inflow will be higher than usual this year, it has also exposed many inadequacies.

In particular it has shown how badly equipped this town is to deal with a spurt in the traffic and consequent congestion and frayed tempers.

While the observers told The Hindu that the deep rooted tendency of the police to rely on temporary piece meal measures to tackle traffic related problems is the main reason for the sorry state of affairs, the police explain that the main contributory factor is the shortage of personnel to regulate traffic.

Many here feel that a permanent traffic management plan should not be delayed any more. In finding a lasting solution the interests of all the road users should be taken into consideration. The authorities can no longer afford to please one section at the cost of another.

Since there were many among the tourists who came here just to enjoy walking, proper facilities should be provided.

The pedestrian walks should be kept free of encroachments and prevented from being misused. Instances of pedestrians getting hit by vehicles moving out of sidewalks without warning especially on the Commercial road are on the rise.

The traffic police should also ensure that members of the local mercantile community do not park their vehicles for a long time in public areas.

They regretted that though off and on civic officials have assured them that the erection of hoardings by various political parties in inappropriate places would not be permitted they have become permanent fixtures in many parts of the town. Apart from affecting the appearance of the town they hide sign boards and also pose a serious threat to motorists and pedestrians.

The observers opined that the political parties should help in making this hill station presentable to the tourists and comfortable for the locals. They should extend their cooperation to the district administration in identifying shortcomings instead of aggravating problems.

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