Chaotic traffic, encroachments add to the problem on the road

Chaotic traffic gives a torrid time for motorists travelling on the Pudukottai Main Road, between the Kallukuzhi intersection and the TVS Tollgate, in the city these days. Poor road engineering, lack of traffic management, unruly drivers, and encroachments have contributed to the mess. Construction of medians a few years ago up to Tiruchi-Pudukottai National Highway from the Head Office in the city added to the problem.

With residential colonies and commercial establishment located on either side of the road, the medians have been laid in bits and pieces on short stretches as openings had to be provided for residents and road users to cross over. But these openings have turned out to be the bane of the road as motorists criss-cross the road throwing safety to winds causing pile up of vehicles. Some of these openings have been barricaded by the police in the last few days, but the situation has not improved.

The Kallukuzhi intersection, where motorists take a right from the descent of the Goodshed Road bridge, has emerged the most dangerous spot of late. A large number of residents of colonies on the eastern side of Kallukuzhi Sri Anjaneyar Temple take this route every day. Scores of schoolchildren, riding bi-cycles, two-wheelers, and autorickshaws, have to cross this point. As vehicles slow down or halt to take an acute turn on the descent, some motorists coming from behind are taken by surprise, leading to accidents. Similarly, motorists entering the Pudukottai Main Road from Kallukuzhi have a tough time in the absence of traffic cops or an automatic signal.

“I face jittery moments when crossing this intersection on my two-wheeler as heavy vehicles both from behind and the opposite side come at high speed. Accidents, though minor ones, are frequent. The authorities should step in to regulate traffic here lest it leads to a major accident,” says Vignesh, a college student.

Residents of the area are sore that the entry and exit points to Kallukuzhi, both via the Pudukottai Main Road and the Mannapuram Road, have become trouble spots. The Mannapuram Road witnesses heavy congestion almost right through the day as vehicles queue up for long stretches at the Viralimalai Road junction.

The Circuit House intersection near the TVS Tollgate, where a petrol station is situated, also faces heavy congestion. Encroachers have only compounded the problem. Of late, roadside eateries and vendors have come to occupy the road. Haphazard parking of vehicles in front of the commercial establishments add to the disorder. “If a town bus halts at the Sethuraman Pillai Colony Bus Stop, vehicles have to queue up behind as the road space has been shrunk considerably. The situation is so bad even pedestrians do not feel safe," says Gopal, a resident.