The introduction of traffic regulations in the city’s main commercial hub around the Rockfort, to ease congestion in view of the Deepavali season, has brought much relief to the people, particularly pedestrians.
The decision of the authorities to restrict the movement of vehicles on Singarathope, NSB Road, etc., has reduced congestion to a great extent in these high density commercial zones.
During festival seasons, pedestrians used to fight for space and negotiate with speeding vehicles on the main thoroughfares, mainly in the commercial areas. The new traffic regulations which came in to force from October 7, were finalised at a consultative meeting.
Till Deepavali, the police have banned the movement of all kind of vehicles on NSB Road, Singarathope, Chinnakadai Street, Nandi Kovil Street, etc. The Corporation has created temporary parking zones on Butterworth Road, Old Goodshed Road, in front of Devar Hall on West Boulevard Road, the platinum jubilee building grounds belonging to the District Central Library and the Teppakulam Bishop Heber Higher Secondary School grounds (in the evenings). A reasonable parking fee fixed by the district administration and the Corporation has been widely welcomed by vehicle users.
What has given satisfaction to the authorities is that the traders have welcomed these traffic regulations and have assured their full support to the authorities. Following the representation by the Tamil Nadu Traders’ Federation, the police have permitted the movement of vehicles of business establishments till 11 a.m. to enable them complete the daily banking transactions.
The diversion of vehicles via Khiledar street, which houses many business establishments, hospital, etc., has led to frequent traffic congestion. Moreover both the sides of this road have been encroached upon by vested interests and parking of push carts, which has worsened the situation. Steps should be taken to streamline the flow of traffic on this road, locals feel.
A cross section of the people, want the police and the Corporation to take initiative for the creation of more parking lots and also exclusive pedestrian zones. In zones where there is heavy pedestrian movement, vehicles should not be allowed to enter even after the festival season ends. Facilitating vehicle movement should not override pedestrian requirements, they say.
V. Govindarajulu, state general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Traders’ Federation, welcoming the traffic regulations said they have been done in the interest of both the consumers and traders and the trading community would extend total cooperation. He also thanked the authorities for coming forward to allow the pavement hawkers to do their business till 4 a.m. on Deepavali day.
J.J.L. Gnanaraj, president, Chamber of Commerce, said there was need for steps for controlling the crowds in the business centres. Earlier NCC cadets and NSS volunteers were pressed into service to regulate the crowd on the busy roads. Such a system should be reintroduced without any delay.
Raja Mutthirulandi, secretary general of the Tiruchi Productivity Council, too expressed the same views. Utilising the services of the NCC cadets and NSS volunteers in crowd management was introduced by the Bharathidasan University in the 1970s, Prof. Raja Mutthirulandi, former Joint Registrar of the University, recalls. This proved a big success and was hailed by various quarters.
He said that new traffic regulations, creation of temporary parking zones and restrictions on the pavement shops were all welcome features. Restriction on-street parking should also be thought of and this would improve pedestrian safety.
Despite all these effective steps, it is the indifferent attitude of the city bus crew which park their vehicles on the middle of the road and away from bus stops on Madurai Road and the West Boulevard Road which leads to traffic bottlenecks. The police should deal with the erring drivers with iron hand, says Iliyas, a college student.