KOCHI: The City Police are waiting for the pattern of the Onam crowd to evolve before finalising their strategy. One of the main challenges that the police face every year, is the surge in crowd flowing into the city for shopping. But the City Traffic Police have not brought in any changes in existing traffic system.
“With the restriction of buses coming into the city, the traffic has become manageable. The disturbing factor is the condition of the roads. Anyway, we have decided to wait for the pattern to emerge before taking a decision,” said Manoj Abraham, City Police Commissioner.
Buses coming into the city from eastern side were asked to terminate their service outside the city boundary and park at Karshaka Road. This has reduced the traffic flow considerably along the South overbridge, one of the main bottlenecks.
The City Traffic Police hope that the situation will be much better compared to last year. One of the main advantages that the City Police enjoy this year is the availability of more parking spaces.
“Lesser buses coming into the city mean more space for parking, like the Foreshore Road, D.H. Road and Marine Drive,” said K.B. Venugopal, Assistant Commissioner of Police, City Traffic-West.
The City Traffic Police have also decided to go slow on action against vehicles in no-parking zones. Three tow-away vans have been deployed in the city as part of the recent intensive drive against violations.
“During Onam season, it is natural for more vehicles to come into the city. So we have decided to concentrate on vehicles that are parked in such a way that it obstructs the traffic flow. Even then vehicles will be towed away only as a last resort,” said Mr. Venugopal.
More personnel will be deployed in the city to streamline the traffic. Timing for patrol teams have also been extended to cover the crowd movement, especially with night shopping on in the city.
The police are also banking on alternative plans that were implemented earlier, if the traffic crosses the carrying capacity. While the damaged roads leading to South overbridge forced the police to divert a section of the traffic along Atlantis recently, repair works on St. Benedict and Paramara Roads made the police divert traffic along Banerjee Road.