TAMIL NADU

Traffic goes haywire on roads leading to Marina

CHENNAI SEPT. 6. While the MIGs, Suryakirans and Sukhois took off into the skies this morning in a breathtaking spectacle, many city residents were grounded, thanks to the chaos on the roads.

Traffic jams occurred all along Anna Salai and on almost all the other roads leading to and from the Marina from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, exposing the lack of planning by authorities. Vehicles moved at a snail's pace and in several areas, civilians took on themselves the task of enforcing traffic discipline.

A senior police officer felt that lack of proper planning and intelligence failure regarding the possible public turnout on the Marina proved to be disastrous for road-users.

When the crowd was desperately surging towards the beach at the last moment, no policeman was seen at some of the important intersections at Triplicane, Chindadripet and Mylapore as a result of which vehicles piled up on Pycrofts Road, Royapettah High Road, R.K.Math Road and South Canal Bank Road, Mandaveli.

Autorickshaw drivers, who usually come in for sharp criticism from the public, donned the role of the police at some places and regulated traffic. The flyover on Royapettah High Road, beyond Avvai Shanmugham Salai Road, provided those who could not reach the Marina a "grand stand view" of the aerobatics. The stretch of Santhome High Road, particularly from the Foreshore Estate intersection, was converted into a "parking lot" and the policemen at the junction pleaded helplessness.

A traffic constable's advice was simple: "The road is choked. If you can manage to go through the maze of vehicles, you can do so." The MTC let down the travelling public with no effective supervision of the services, forcing people to walk long distances or engage autorickshaws to reach home after the show.

Those who managed to reach the Marina were subjected to some hassles too. With the lack of drinking water and toilet facilities, some sections of the public had a tough time coping. Also, there were several announcements for `missing' children.

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