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A day of traffic snarls

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EMERGENCY: An ambulance van caught in the middle of the traffic block at Vytilla in the city on Monday. —
EMERGENCY: An ambulance van caught in the middle of the traffic block at Vytilla in the city on Monday. —

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Traffic snarls caused by security precautions due to the visit of President Pratibha Patil to the city tested the patience levels of the city residents as many had to wait for hours for the traffic blocks to clear.

On Monday the city roads remained clogged for most of the day.

Traffic was stopped along the President’s route when she travelled to inaugurate the two-day national conference of the All India Federation of Women Lawyers at Le Meridien International Convention Centre.

But residents of West Kochi complained that the area was totally cut off from the mainland for hours. “Even pedestrians were not allowed to cross the BOT bridge,” said a regular commuter from the area.

People who came to the city also had to spend hours at traffic snarls.

“It took me more than one-and-a-half hours to reach Kadavanthra from Aroor in the morning and nearly as much time in the afternoon to return along the same route,” said John Joseph, a resident of Cherthala who runs a private firm in the city.

A senior official with the City Traffic Police said that the VIP visit, along with increased traffic ahead of hartal day, caused the snarls.

This was worsened by the ongoing repair works at two bridges along the Aroor-Vytilla National Highway bypass, the official said.

Vytilla junction had another session of traffic hold up, thanks to the inauguration of services of low-floor AC bus. The city also witnessed the movement of more VIPs. Three State Ministers had official functions in the city and many others were passing through the city.

A long line of vehicles coming in and going out of the city, continued till about 9.30 p.m., especially in areas like the Kundanoor Junction.

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