With the rise in number of vehicles, traffic police find it hard to regulate the traffic flow at many intersections in the city. Though the traffic police are examining alternatives, the need of the hour is to build flyovers, feel many motorists.
According to transport department officials, on an average, 200 vehicles of different types are registered in the city alone every day. Earlier, there was only one RTO (Regional Transport Office), but today, there are three. The staff at the RTOs have been demanding the government to fill up vacancies and provide additional staff to cater to the needs of the public is a different story.
While the Madurai population, according to the last census, stood at about 10 lakh, the number of vehicles registered in the three RTOs accounted for 5.80 lakh in the city today, traffic police said.
Town Planning officials in Madurai Corporation said that the city roads are going to get a facelift under the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) in a phased manner. “Widening roads and constructing bridges are part of the mega project,” they added.
However, motorists using the city roads continue to have a harrowing experience. Be it Town Hall Road or Munichalai junction or Goripalayam or Kalavasal, vehicles moved at a snail's pace during peak hours. According to motorists, presence of adequate strength of traffic police alone would enable traffic flow, be it during peak hours or non-peak hours.
Two days ago, traffic snarl near Periyar bus stand at around 10.30 p.m. resulted in vehicles standing still for a long time. Haphazard parking of omni-buses, constant movement of city buses from and inside the Periyar bus stand and long queues of cars and autorickshaws were caught in the logjam. Only by 11.15 p.m. vehicles could move.
The situation is almost similar in Goripalayam on most of the days.
On Monday, at around noon, vehicles got piled up from Thevar statue to Telegraph office on both sides of the Alagarkoil Road. Traffic police at the junction were helpless and remained mute spectators for over 20 minutes, motorists said.
While motorists welcome the future plans to widen roads and construct bridges, the need of the hour is to clear encroachments along roads and pull up erring drivers.
Drivers suggest that police be posted at major intersections such as Periyar bus stand and Kalavasal till midnight on weekends.
Commissioner of Police P. Balasubramanian, who visited vantage locations such as Mattuthavani integrated bus stand, Periyar bus stand and Kalavasal agreed to deploy more number of traffic police and ensure free flow at major intersections. He has appealed to the motorists to cooperate with the police by obeying traffic rules.