Traffic choke points grow around Puducherry town

Traffic bottlenecks are not new to commuters passing through the town but of late, vehicle users as well as pedestrians have started feeling the pressure of traffic jams even on suburban routes.

One such area which has started witnessing heavy traffic is the Moolakulam area, particularly the stretch from Reddiarpalayam junction to the Vazudhavoor turning on the Puducherry-Villupuram road.

New colonies

With rapid urbanisation of the area, the road has become increasingly congested. The number of educational institutions and commercial hubs on the Villupuram route and the recent appearance of housing colonies and apartments on either side of the road up to Moolakulam have added to the traffic.

Apart from those commuting between Villupuram and Puducherry, hundreds of people staying in residential colonies and apartments on either side of the road till Moolakulam are caught in traffic jams during peak hours.

The Villupuram road has become yet another commercial stretch. As a result, residents find it very difficult to move during peak hours as the carriageway is drastically narrowed because of two and four wheelers parked on both sides. The several turns off from the main road such as Reddiyarpalayam PSR Silks, opposite Lassi Shop etc., also mean that vehicles have to wait for a long time at junctions adding to the pile up, said R.D. Shrikanth, a resident of Balaji Paradise in Balaji Nagar.

Nandakumar, past president of Srinivas Towers at Moolakulam, said the peak traffic times are between 8.30 a.m. to 9. 45 a.m. and 5. 30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“What used to be a safe and quiet road just about five years ago has now become a nightmare for residents. For children, crossing the road is extremely dangerous and we need to have a security guard to help them. It takes almost five minutes to cross the road. The problem is caused due to the turn off to the Vazhudhavur road. There is no traffic signal or policemen to regulate traffic, and it is a free for all,” he added.

The problem was compounded by the reckless driving of private buses on the stretch, he added.

Past secretary of Sreenivas Towers Owners Welfare Association, Oulgaret M.V. Kannan said though a busy stretch, authorities have failed to provide any pedestrian crossing marks on the stretch from Indira Gandhi Square to Moolakulam.

Long term solutions

The problem is also compounded by the increasing vehicle numbers in the Union Territory as well as the growing numbers of daily commuters to the city. Another major cause for the traffic jam is the presence of vendors on either sides of the narrow stretch, Mr. Kannan said.

He suggested that the traffic jam could be eased if the road that branches off from the over-bridge on the 100 Feet Road is opened as early as possible.

One temporary solution to ease the congestion is to push back the high tension transformers, particularly near Jaya Nagar and Opposite RSR Silks, said Mr. Shrikanth.

The traffic police say manually regulating traffic on a narrow stretch having a regular flow of vehicles is near impossible. “Even if we have a signal constructed on the point where the road turns to Vazhudhavur, the problem will persist,” a police officer added.

Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department V. Sathyamurti said the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had already sanctioned ₹72 crore for road improvement works in the Union Territory.

The Moolakulam stretch had been included in the project for road widening, construction of medians and pedestrian crossings. Also, the government proposed to approach HUDCO for funding to construct a four-lane road connecting Cuddalore road and Arumparthapuram on the Villupuram route, he added.

The traffic bottleneck could be solved with the road improvement works at Moolakulam and a new four-lane road, he added.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 7:59:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/traffic-choke-points-grow-around-puducherry-town/article35530806.ece

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