KERALA

People fret over rallies

Staff Reporter

They get stranded on busy roads



Record number of processions in January

Lok Sabha elections seem to be a reason



KOZHIKODE: Lal, a taxi driver, was caught up twice recently in rallies taken out on Mavoor Road in the city.

“I had to wait for more than half an hour in the traffic each time,” he says.

Sanoj, conductor in a private bus on the Kozhikode-Koodaranji route, was witness to a similar block at the Stadium-Pavamani Road junction last Sunday. His bus, with scores of passengers, had to wait in the heavy traffic because of a procession passing by. Cancelled trips and traumatic experiences that passengers recount are many, say bus crew.

Office-goers too have harrowing tales to relate of processions taken out in the city with increasing frequency these days. These hold up traffic on the main thoroughfares and throw life out of gear, incurring people’s ire.

This despite the police authorities going the whole hog to ensure that life is not affected and students and office-goers are not harassed while planning the route of a march, traffic police say.

With elections round the corner, it seems to have become unavoidable for political, religious, social and other outfits to organise processions that pass through busy roads such as Mavoor Road, Bank Road, Red Cross Road and points such as Muthalakulam and CH overbridge to end at the beach.

State, district or other meetings organised by various organisations invariably end with a procession.

Statistics available with the Police Special Branch, which gives permission to take out processions and for the route planned, reveal that the city witnessed a record number of processions during January.

As many as 25 processions were taken out in the city up to January 26, special branch sources say. The Assistant Commissioners of traffic police divisions (North and South) are informed of the processions and rallies to be taken out for permission to use microphones.

The road alignment in the city and heavy traffic, especially during the evening hours, has worsened the situation, traffic police say.

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