Nearly a year after the Mannarpuram fly-over, built as part of the four-lane Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway, was thrown open for traffic, negotiating the massive and multiple traffic islands beneath the fly-over poses a risk for motorists in the city.
The multiple traffic intersections located beneath the fly-over, where as many as six major roads converge to make an ever busy junction, leave road users bewildered. Apart from a massive traffic island, a couple of other minor islands have been built to regulate the traffic flow.
Though automatic traffic signals were installed at the intersections a couple of months back, they were in operation only for a brief period. The signals are in disuse now. During the brief period during which they were operation, motorists largely ignored the traffic signals as they were not properly synchronised and timed.
For instance, motorists heading towards the Kallukuzhi via the Old RTO Office from K.K.Nagar would have to cross over two signals. This resulted in a rather “prolonged wait” for drivers, who hardly show the patience to wait for about three to four minutes in the hot sun, says R.Gopal, a resident of K.K.Nagar.
Heavy vehicles, especially buses and lorries, entering the city from the Thanjavur side through the service lanes mostly ignore the signal to take a sharp turn towards the right, often catching on-coming motorists heading towards K.K.Nagar or Khajamalai off guard. Two-wheeler riders are the worst affected.
With a bus halt located close to the signal on the K.K.Nagar and vehicles criss-crossing from all other directions, this proved to be the most dangerous spot for road users.“Accidents are happening frequently at the junction. Even the signals, which were in operation for some time, did not help. At peak hours, there is absolute chaos at the junction. The design of the intersections at the junctions needs a review and officials should take steps to redesign the intersections to make the junction safe for motorists,” says Ghouse Baig, secretary of the Golden Rock branch of the Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu.