Staff Reporter

Decision will be reviewed after a week, says District Collector

City police cannot take arbitrary decisions,

says councillor

Picketing planned for Tuesday called off

Kozhikode: The newly introduced one-way rule on YMCA and Malabar Christian College crossroads has been limited to peak hours from 8.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. and 3.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.

An emergency meeting of the City Traffic Advisory Committee called by District Collector A. Jayathilak in his chamber on Monday took the decision. The one-way rule had led to a dispute between the city police and the Corporation.

Dr. Jayathilak said the decision would be reviewed after a week. The rule had been introduced earlier also but had to be called off following opposition.

The 45-minute closed-door meeting saw a heated debate between city police officers, led by V.K. Rajendran, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Traffic, and the councillors. The stormy session concluded as the Collector intervened and decided to relax the rule during off-peak hours.

The city police had introduced the one-way rule on these crossroads round the clock to lessen traffic snarls on Kannur Road (National Highway 212) and Wayanad Road (National Highway 17). It had been experimented with during Ramzan and Onam festivals.

Thus, vehicles from P.T. Usha Road were not permitted to enter Kannur Road via YMCA Crossroad. But they could pass through Malabar Christian College Crossroad to enter Wayanad Road. Vehicles coming from Wayanad Road were prohibited from entering Kannur Road via Malabar Christian College Crossroad. But they could take YMCA Crossroad to enter Kannur road. The one-way rule has also been made applicable to vehicles coming from Muthappankavu Road to enter Wayanad Road.

P. Kishenchand, councillor, said the picketing called for Tuesday in protest against the rule had been withdrawn. “We have agreed to the settlement for the time being. If the district administration failed to sort out the issue after a week, we will go ahead with the agitation,” he said.

At the meeting, Mr. Kishenchand said the city police had arbitrarily imposed the rule. It should not be implemented even during peak hours.

Thomas Mathew, councillor, said the police was not empowered to take a decision on traffic rule. Quoting an order of the Kerala High Court, he said any permanent rule should be imposed only in consultation with the civic body.

However, P. Divakaran, councillor, said the new system had eased traffic congestion during peak hours. But it was posing difficulties for students to go to school.

Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef and U.T. Rajan, former Mayor, spoke.

A.K. Abdulla, president, Bus Operators’ Association, said the police had taken the right decision since traffic congestion in the heart of the city had been solved.

Revenue Divisional Officer P.S. Mohammed Sagir and representatives of Malabar Christian College, Malabar High School and Providence Higher Secondary School took part in the meeting.