Projects, rain, festival shopping choke roads

Even ambulances are caught in traffic: police official

Madurai

With road works under smart city project under way, choking of arterial roads from Albert Victor Bridge up to Vilakkuthoon Junction, and Mahal Road up to Nelpettai has become a routine feature in the last few weeks.

Incessant rain and Pongal shopping crowd have added to the chaos that almost brought the traffic to a grinding halt on these roads.

Piling up of vehicles near Nelpettai sometimes results in logjam even on the A.V. Bridge which has a cascading effect at Goripalayam junction too.

Even evicting encroachments by onion shops and lorry parcel service offices on East Marret Street could not bring any relief as most of the vehicles from northern parts of the city took these roads for festival shopping.

“Despite banning of trucks, the number of small cargo vehicles that keep shifting goods from outside the city into the core city areas added to the confusion,” a police constable said.

Ever since underground drainage work started on East Veli Street, vehicles have been moving on a snail’s pace, said J. Kaleel Raghuman, who runs a shop on the street.

“Even ambulances were caught in the chocking traffic and to ease the traffic, we have made a minor change at the Munichalai signal on a trial basis,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, K. Sugumaran.

Vehicles coming from Munichalai Road are not allowed to take a right turn on East Veli Street to go to Nelpettai. Instead, they are allowed to take left turn towards St. Mary’s Church.

While smaller vehicles like two-wheelers and autorickshaws take the bylanes connecting East Veli Street with East Marret Street, bigger vehicles have to go up to Vilakkuthoon junction to take East Marret Street. This arrangement also allows vehicles coming from East Marret Street to the junction through Swami Sannithi Street to take free left turn without any hassle.

Waiting time on the signal has significantly reduced and as a result piling of vehicles up to Anna Statue junction has come down.

“We will post a few more traffic police personnel in this area to effectively regulate the traffic during the festival season,” Mr Sugumaran said.

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