Managing the evening traffic at Kattur is a nightmarish experience the police have to live with every day.
For the students of the schools and the college in the area, crossing the accident-prone road to board buses at the stop is a constant ordeal.
Hundreds of students stand right on the road to board buses, though the NHAI has constructed a bus shelter right next to a service road near the stop.
City buses halt on the main two-lane carriageway, causing obstruction to mofussil buses and traffic congestion during evening hours, say local shopkeepers.
“The utility of the bus shelter is realised by passengers only when it rains. Otherwise, even in hot weather conditions, the public prefer to stand on the road,” said Rajadurai, a roadside vendor.
Though the public hold the bus crew responsible for not stopping in front of the bus shelter, a conductor of a private bus operating between BHEL and Chathiram bus stand said that buses stop on the road for the convenience of the waiting public. Students scramble to get into the city buses operated by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) to utilise their free bus passes.
The government buses also compete with privately operated ones for maximising collections. This competition is the reason as to why buses don’t enter the service lane, locals say.
The very idea of constructing the bus shelter was that there should be no obstruction to mofussil buses. But, there is little that a lone constable posted on duty, especially during peak hours, can do to remedy the situation.
People infuriated by the accidents that have taken place on the stretch have blocked the road's traffic on many occasions in the past. Adequate police personnel must be posted at the spot all through the day to manage traffic, said a representative of one of the school managements.