Awareness drive leads to traffic pile up near Cantonment railway station
An initiative to create awareness about accidents caused by drunken driving appeared to go horribly wrong on Friday and ended up creating a major traffic snarl near Cantonment Railway station.
Janaagraha, which organised the campaign, created a mock accident scene involving a car to drive home its message. But, crowds were drawn to the site by the hundreds, causing a traffic jam. When The Hindu’s photo journalist reached the spot, he found that there was nobody from either the NGO or the traffic police to explain why the car had been placed there. Most people were under the impression that this was a real accident and there was nobody to clear the misconception. Some curious onlookers even broke traffic rules and rode/drove in the wrong direction to check out the scene.
Janaagraha co-founder Swathi Ramanathan denied that the show was managed badly. She said there was no traffic jam and the spot was picked to grab maximum eyeballs.
However, policemen who preferred anonymity confirmed what The Hindu found during the spot visit.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.A. Saleem said his department had nothing to do with the event and clarified that he had granted permission on the condition that there would be no traffic disruption.
He said he would investigate the incident and that he had second thoughts about granting permission for similar events in future.