Constables, auto drivers sceptical, say move will slow down vehicles

The city’s key junction at Hampankatta will witness a major change in traffic movement from the first week of February with the police deciding to provide two new U-turns close to the circle. But motorists and some policemen are sceptical about the move and fear that it could worsen the situation.

While one U-turn will be provided near the MCC (Mangalore Catholic Christian) Bank on the Light House Hill Road, the other U-turn will be arranged opposite Wenlock Hospital’s Administrative Office on College Road (between Clock Tower and Hampankatta Junction).

As per the new traffic movement plan, vehicles coming from K.S. Rao Road cannot go straight to Falnir or take a right turn towards Town Hall. Such vehicles need to take a left turn, move about 100m ahead and then take a U-turn near MCC Bank, to join Jyothi Circle-Hampankatta Road.

From that point, the Falnir-bound vehicles could take a free left turn at Hampankatta Circle and continue the journey, whereas the Town Hall-bound vehicles could go straight without any turn.

Another feature of the new plan is the regulation of chaotic movement opposite Taj Mahal Hotel where a U-turn will be banned. However, the vehicles that used to cut the flow of traffic on Falnir Road to take the road leading to Mangalore Central Railway or Attavar will remain unchanged.

Those coming from Falnir to K.S. Rao Road have to take a free left turn at Hampankatta Circle, take a U-turn on College Road (new U-turn to be created here) and come back to Hampankatta Circle and turn towards K.S. Rao Road. Alternatively, vehicles could reach K.S. Rao Road via G.H.S. Road.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Uday Naik said with the new traffic plan, the police wanted to provide unobstructed movement of traffic between Jyothi Circle and A.B. Shetty Circle and between Lady Goschen Hospital and Jyothi Circle.

It will ease management of traffic at the junction where around 5,000 vehicles pass every hour during peak hours in morning and evening, he said.

Autorickshaw driver Arun Kumar said the new traffic plan would slow down movement of traffic in Hampanakatta. “The traffic on College Road slows down during peak hours because of movement of traffic towards G.H.S Road and K.S. Rao Road. The U-turn near MCC Bank will further slow down traffic.”

He said the traffic movement towards A.B. Shetty Circle will slow down with a new U-turn on College Road. “We did speak about these problems in a meeting held last month. But they (traffic police) are going ahead with their proposal,” Mr. Kumar said.

Maren D’Souza, a shop owner on Milagres Church Road, said there was no talk about the proposal made in July last year to reverse the one-way on their road, which would help motorists coming from Jyothi Circle reach Falnir easily.

A traffic constable feared that his work will increase manifold when the changes come into effect.

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