As Mayor invites residents to discuss ways and means to improve traffic, readers give valuable suggestions

The first citizen of Madurai – Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa – has invited people from various walks of life for an interaction on traffic improvement in the ‘temple' city.

The meeting is scheduled to be held at the MADITSSIA on Saturday, according to Corporation authorities.

The Hindu readers have presented a few suggestions for consideration by the Mayor and other officials.

The readers have sought, among other things, more permanent infrastructural facilities, improvement of roads by broadening the stretches and removal of encroachments. To put it in a nutshell, the public have insisted on non-interference of political hand in such activities, which alone would see rapid development.

The traffic police, for their part, have done a few cosmetic changes here and there, which have brought in some relief . For instance, the changes in flow of pattern in Periyar bus stand towards Ellis Nagar. The recent alteration introduced near Goripalayam junction too had decongested traffic. But these are temporary ones.

What is required is a giant step forward, which would give a facelift to the heritage city, they pointed.

New fly-over bridges should be built at least in four spots (Aavin junction, Goripalayam junction, Kalavasal junction and at Fatima College junction).

n the northern side of the city, the roads along the Vaigai River bund should be laid and all encroachments removed irrespective of big and small.

The broad roads should be segregated for two-wheelers/auto rickshaws and four-wheelers.

The concept of ‘lane discipline' should be taught to road users as a majority of the highways stretches in Tamil Nadu is four-lane.

Though a minority section using the roads have been demanding more number of sub-ways and foot-over-bridges, the existing ones at Goripalayam (in front of Rajaji Hospital) and at Periyar bus stand should be put to use forthwith.

Further, sub-ways can be constructed near St Mary's Church, Shopping complex bus stand and other locations, where vehicle movement was on a fast track.

The police should install speed limit boards (as the city does not have even one such board anywhere) for various vehicles and no horn zone boards. The prison may be shifted out of the city limits and the campus could be used as parking as well as an alternative spot for Tamkum Grounds.

Parking

The readers said that parking of vehicles should not be anywhere and everywhere, but only at the space earmarked by the authorities. Narrow zones like Bullion Market, South Masi, South Marret and West Masi, to name a few, should see welcome changes. Multi-level parking system should be introduced on a build-operate-transfer system.

By parking on one-side of narrow lanes and converting the stretches into one-ways, there may be difficulties encountered by the merchants, but in an ever expanding city, things would improve only then.

A panel comprising Police, Revenue, Corporation, Highways, PWD, Home Guards and from public, preferably those from the TN Chamber of Commerce, MADITSSIA and from the media house could be members with Mayor, District Collector, Corporation Commissioner and Police Commissioner as well.

Helmet

The other day, the Inspector General and Commissioner of Police Sanjay Mathur said that the police worked for long hours, but the public felt the police are responsible for all the bad things. The difference in perception has to change, he underlined.

For instance, when the police say, helmet is essential for two-wheeler riders, the public should follow the rules. Instead, there were arguments for and against wearing the headgear. The courts too have given judgements in favour of wearing the helmet in the rider's interest, police officers said.

Greater Madurai

By identifying a New Madurai or Greater Madurai, the planners can give a new dimension to living. A huge space covering a vast expanse of over 500 acres or 1000 acres beyond 25-30 kms should be identified and planned in such a way that it sets a model in the State or even in the country, a reader suggested.

With an overwhelming majority in hand for the AIADMK both in the State and local bodies, the citizens would be too happy only to see developments without any hindrance, readers summed up.

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