The need for government intervention in tackling the emerging challenge of traffic obstruction has gained momentum.

And this is especially crucial in a city like Chennai where a number of structures on the roads, including statues, continue to obstruct traffic.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed all States to not grant permission for construction of any structure at public places or on highways which would obstruct traffic.

A Bench passed the order even as it directed status quo on unveiling of a statue on a road in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The Bench said: “Time has come when public interest has to be paramount. You cannot have statues at public places.”

A number of roads such as Kamarajar Salai, LB Road, Gandhi Irwin Road and Anna Salai have such structures.

“Statues including that of Shivaji Ganesan on Kamarajar Salai and that of Periyar on Anna Salai have emerged as bottlenecks. There is a risk of accidents in such areas. Great people like Periyar and Shivaji Ganesan would certainly have been against installation of such structures,” said Nagarajan, an autorickshaw driver.

Engineers at the Chennai Corporation also pointed to installation of statues by owners of property on the junction of major roads to prevent land being taken over near the bend in the road for facilitating free flow of traffic.

The civic body or traffic police is yet to take a survey of such bottlenecks on bus routes and interior roads.