T. Nagar bursting at the seams

BUMPER TO BUMPER: Traffic on Bhashyam Street near the Panagal Park junction in T. Nagar on Friday.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: S.S.KUMAR

R. Sujatha

Traffic came to standstill, owing to festival shoppers’ crowd

CHENNAI: Shoppers who came to T. Nagar on Friday would have probably regretted their decision. Vehicular traffic in T. Nagar came to a standstill several times, thanks to the festival shopping crowd.

Police had a tough time regulating traffic as vehicles piled up along Venkatnarayana Road, G.N. Chetty Road, North Usman Road and Thyagaraya Road by noon.

Shoppers struggled to move around and autorickshaw drivers demanded exorbitant fare to drive through overcrowded streets. K. Saravanan, a car driver, said, “It took two hours to negotiate a two-km stretch from the Kodambakkam junction to T. Nagar.

The traffic hold-up began at the Kodambakkam junction around 11 a.m. When we entered T. Nagar, it was 1 p.m.”

While MTC buses managed to wind their way slowly, cars, autorickshaws and two-wheelers clogged the roads. Traffic was heavy around the junctions near Kodambakkam-North Usman Road, Venkatnarayana Road-Burkit Road and Thyagaraya Road-Dr. Nair Road. Many who hired autorickshaws or cabs got off midway and tried to walk to the destinations.

At most places, pedestrians struggled to cross the road.

C.N.R. Selvaraj, who works in T. Nagar, said he had to wait for 10 minutes before he could cross G. N. Chetty Road near the Kannadasan statue. Though traffic police towed away vehicles from several roads, it did not deter many from parking along the road margins on other roads such as Thyagaraya Road and Bhashyam Street.

A commuter had a hard time bargaining with an autorickshaw driver for a trip from Coats Road to the Doraiswamy Road junction, a distance of about 1 km.

The driver demanded Rs.40. Another auto driver charged Rs.70 for a trip from Panagal Park to Trust Puram, three km away.

Sources in the Mambalam and Soundarapandianar Angadi police stations said there were no complaints of missing children. Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Shakeel Akhter said that since certain traffic regulations were introduced recently, it led to some confusion. By evening, motorists were getting familiar with the changes and the traffic flow became easier, he said.