Vijayawada

Is there a road ahead to go?

Even as the city’s traffic is fast spiralling out of control, officials set a target of two to three years to ease the congestion

Ever since Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has asked authorities to see that the ever-growing problem of traffic congestion in the city is addressed, district officials and the ministers brought into focus the road and flyover projects that divert the National Highway traffic out of the city. Ongoing and shelved projects have been revisited and put back on the track after it was announced that the city would be freed of traffic congestion in two to three years.

Getting rid of the National Highway traffic is important and necessary but there is a lot within the city that has to be addressed at the ground level.

Each to his own

A majority of the city roads, including the arterial and one of the widest M.G. Road stretch between Police Control Room Junction and Benz Circle have become narrow for the traffic volume they witness during the peak hours daily resulting in jams or slower movement. The departments concerned attribute various factors like roadside parking, encroachments, engineering defects, bad roads, narrow approaches, bus stops, an increasing number of private vehicles and irresponsible drivers, to the congestion.

But lack of coordination among the departments has been a major cause of concern and a hindrance to the process of resolving the issues for good.

In a case of heavy vehicles being parked on the roads in Gandhi Nagar causing traffic jams, a corporator had sought the intervention of the civic council in addressing the issue for at least eight times in the past five years. He proposed imposition of a fine by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on the vehicle owners. However, the town planning officials had passed the buck to police saying they have no right to take action against moving vehicles.

No free left is free

The city police have set up free left passages at major junctions so that motorists taking left could go ahead without bothering the stop signal. However, no free left in the city including the one adjoining the Police Control Room is left free for the motorists. Thanks to irresponsible drivers who often block them.

The only saving grace for the busiest M.G. Road are U-turn junctions which replaced the four-road junctions in 2015. Though not an ideal practice, it was strategically implemented by the city police in 2015. In other areas like Patamata, the same was replicated later.

Poor planning

Reflecting poor planning, municipal officials issue permissions to schools, colleges and malls without proper consultation with police and other authorities. In one such case, the establishment of a junior college near Jammichettu Centre on the narrow five-route has been causing a traffic jam during peak hours when students leave and enter college. Ditto is the situation in many areas.

Experts say the only way to improve the existing situation where there is no scope for a further widening of the city roads is studying the roads and rerouting traffic accordingly.

"The city roads have to be studied comprehensively and figure out which roads can handle particular traffic volume and make diversions accordingly. Some of the roads can be made one-way only. Traffic management and rerouting play a key role," says Md. Abdul Razak, Professor, Dept. of Planning at the School of Planning and Architecture.

"Also, the bus stops which obstruct traffic flow have to be placed far from narrow stretches and junctions," he added.

External roads cut traffic volume

Officials say that the completion of Benz Circle flyover, Outer Ring Road (NH between Mangalagiri and China Avutapalli via Gollapudi), Gunadala flyover and others would reduce the vehicular traffic within the city.

"I have already submitted a report to the government with proposals and plans that could make the city see a change in the traffic situation in two years. In addition to the flyover at Benz Circle, the requirement of another one which can take care of the city traffic was proposed. Also, the revised estimates for construction of Gunadala flyover and compensation have been sent," District Collector A. Md. Imtiaz said.

"The VMC officials will be asked to come up with a comprehensive traffic plan for the city to improve the situation locally," he said.

Meanwhile, the city is going to have an Intelligent Traffic Management System for which the state has already sanctioned Rs. 4.83 crore. The overall project cost is Rs. 14.5 crore.

The new system will help police in better traffic management with the adaptive traffic control system, priority-based variable message system, public addressing system and analysis using technology.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 2:57:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/is-there-a-road-ahead-to-go/article28364222.ece

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