Clock Tower circular one-way worsens traffic mess in Mangaluru CBD
State Bank area chock-a-block as city buses and other vehicles jostle for space
Hasty implementation of the Clock Tower-Clock Tower circular one-way has left the Central Business District in Mangaluru, particularly the State Bank area, chock-a-block as city buses are back in their earlier place with bus operators complaining that the State Bank terminal lacks amenities.
While many operators feel the one-way rule was not at all required for the existing volume of traffic, they feel the administration could have at least waited till completion of all the Smart City work in the CBD before enforcing the one-way rule. Consequently, all city buses line up on Maidan Road near State Bank while private vehicles and autorickshaws jostle for space on the one-way from A.B. Shetty Circle.
Dakshina Kannada Bus Operators’ Association president Jayasheela Adyanthaya told The Hindu that the space earmarked for city buses inside the terminal does not have any facility, including shelters for passengers, rest rooms and even a bitumen surface. Hence, the Association requested the district administration to allow city buses to operate from their earlier location till the Mangaluru City Corporation or the Mangaluru Smart City Ltd. (MSCL) make the necessary arrangements.
Mr. Adyanthaya said the ideal plan was earmarking the left lane of the Maidan Road, from Clock Tower (Mini Vidhana Soudha) till Lady Goschen Hospital via State Bank, for movement of city buses. Entering the State Bank terminal by taking a right turn just after Rao and Rao Circle, leaving the terminal at the next exit and joining the left lane thereafter in the midst of all other vehicles that move on the one-way has become a hassle for the bus crew, he said.
Association’s immediate past-president Dilraj Alva said though operators were opposed to the one-way rule, they accepted the district administration’s promise that the measure would ensure seamless vehicular movement. Despite abundant space inside the terminal after the tempo stand was moved out, it was not developed as a city bus terminal.
Mr. Adyanthaya said the administration should have allowed movement of smaller vehicles from A.B. Shetty Circle towards Mini Vidhana Soudha on the present one-way so as to reduce traffic volumes in the State Bank area.
MCC Commissioner Akshy Sridhar said the space inside the terminal is being developed, and city buses would move in shortly.
A road user has compared the situation at Hamilton Circle near the office of the district administration to playing a video game where road users are caught between vehicular traffic from multiple directions.
Ismail Sunnal, in a social media post, said the district administration and the traffic police have made life miserable for motorists by removing the circle at the junction.
From one end, city buses move at breakneck speed towards State Bank bus stand and block Nellikai Road while they are joined by other private vehicles from A.B. Shetty Circle.
From the other end, vehicles from Nellikai Road and Port Road take a right turn towards Rosario Road.
Inbetween, hundreds of students and general public have to cross the circle towards schools, the DC’s office, bus stand, and other places. It is high time the district administration wakes up and takes corrective steps, he said.