Proprietor wants authorities to find a way out
Rampant encroachments by vendors and other illegal occupants on roads is a norm in Vijayawada.
Many roads in the city are slowly losing out their space to encroachments. The Congress office road that bustles with life all day through is a classic example of the increasing traffic woes. At the end of this road stands a cinema theatre that silently suffers the brunt of this traffic hazard.
The last leg of the road stretch which ends at the main gate of Navarang cinema theatre is the most traffic-battered one. The narrow space is almost always overcrowded with heavy encroachments eating into its space.
People riding bicycles, autorickshaws, scooters, motorcycles, vans, and carts glide through this stretch with vengeance. The only thing you don’t see here is an aircraft weaving through traffic.
To watch a movie in this theatre in busy hours, one should master ‘traffic dodging’. It requires good reflexes and agility because you never know where a vehicle will appear from.
“Junk food vendors, workers squatting in a row in front of tiny shops working on vehicle number plates, sellers of spare automobile parts, a good number of parked vehicles, pedestrians, and vehicle-users jostle for space and the road-users have no choice but to overwork brakes and horns even while knowing that their incessant beeping would contribute to the noise pollution.
“These encroachments are major irritants. The problem has increased manifold in the last six-seven years. Families visiting the theatre in two-wheelers and cars find it extremely inconvenient to navigate through this stretch of the road,” rues R.V. Bhupal Prasad, proprietor of the theatre. Pointing to the three-fourth portion of the occupied road space, he says this ‘nuisance’ has been preventing many movie-lovers from visiting the theatre.
“Nearly 25 per cent of my collections have come down only because of this problem,” he says. Calling his workers and having the road cleared with the help of the traffic cops to pave way for exit of his car was a routine exercise. Vexed with repeated complaints in vain, Mr. Prasad says the authorities must show an alternative place to rehabilitate the vendors and the small-time shopkeepers here.