Suggestion to stagger school, college timings to ease rush-hour traffic

Rush-hour traffic in the city is likely to worsen when educational institutions reopen for the next academic year in June, according to law enforcers.

There are an estimated 1,500 schools in the district. These exclude an unknown number of crèches, day-care centres and nursery schools. There are 135 lower and upper kindergarten schools, 557 lower primary schools, 324 upper primary schools, 112 high schools, 181 higher secondary schools, 34 vocational and nine special schools.

These institutions have an estimated 6 lakh students who will add to rush-hour traffic from June 1.

Traffic enforcers say there will be an almost corresponding increase in the number of vehicles, including two-wheelers, autorickshaws, mini vans and buses.

Ensuring unimpeded traffic flow will be an uphill task for the police. The number of vehicles in the city during rush hours already exceeds its road space by more than 200 per cent.

Even walking to school might not be easy or safe.

Construction material heaped on roadsides and haphazard parking of vehicles on the recently paved pedestrian pathways often force pedestrians to walk on the sides of the carriageways, bringing them in conflict with vehicular traffic.

In scores of localities, storm-water drains are not covered.

Dislodged pavement tiles, jutting stones, shaky signboards, and fallen masts of traffic signal lights have made walking on footpaths a treacherous affair.

Ideally, the city requires more investment on traffic infrastructure. Many city roads require elevated or underground pedestrian pathways.

The police feel that rush-hour congestion can be eased a bit if there is a consensus to stagger school and college timings.