C. Jaishankar

RAMANATHAPURAM: An exponential growth of vehicles and poor traffic management in Ramanathapuram poses a lot of inconvenience to the people, particularly during peak hours. In this town, which was the headquarters of Sethupathy Kings who ruled nearly one fourth of the territory in the State, there is hardly any sign to suggest that it was a well-planned town once.

According to a rough estimate, more than 10,000 vehicles, including cars, vans, jeeps, two-wheelers and others are plying in this small town. National Highway 49 is an important road which passes through the town is always busy due to heavy flow of vehicles coming from other parts of the State to Rameswaram. Since the National Highway is passing through the heart of the town, it has to bear both outside and local traffic, causing traffic snarl at many places. As many as 700 two-wheelers and 50 cars and three- wheelers are being added every month.

“The sale of vehicles particularly two wheelers has increased manifold in the recent years. But there is no addition of public space for vehicle movement during the last several decades, causing traffic congestion in many places,” says S. Nallamuthu of Ragem Motors here.

Lorries and vans pass through the town at breakneck speed on the NH 49, Aranmanai area, Salai Street, old bus stand, Vandikarai Street and school zones during peak hours.

Indiscriminate parking has become order of the day in all the busy streets of Ramanathapuram.

There is no time restriction for lorries to load or offload vegetables, groceries and other consumer goods in the day time.

S. Palanikumar, working with a car dealer, said it was important to draw up a comprehensive plan for short term as well as the long term for streamlining the traffic in the town.