Mangaluru, Jan 31, 2015: Leaders present rosy pictures of the city of Mangaluru, that it is growing by leaps and bounds. Certainly there is no exaggeration in their statements, given the number of hi-rise buildings that have come up in every nook and corner of the city replacing the old tiled structures. But for these hi-rise buildings, some of the roads have been concretised and have become four-lane. Is it enough to describe the city as one which is growing by leaps and bounds?
Definitely not, the city of Mangaluru is caught in a mess. Its problems are multiplying with the passing of each day. Though some developmental works are taking place, sadly many problems still persist. One of the grave problems which the city is facing is that of traffic. The growing population of the city, the increasing number of vehicles on the city roads, with almost every family owning a vehicle and some having more than one vehicle, naturally the pressure is felt on the roads of Mangaluru.
The result-frequent traffic snarls on prominent roads during peak hours. The closure of the Bunts Hostel-Jyothi Circle Road for concretisation since November has added to the bundle of traffic woes. Every Mangalurean who travels on the city roads during peak hours will be cursing the authorities for failure to regulate traffic. After all where lies the crux of the problem?
Though it is not uncommon for a growing city like Mangaluru to face traffic problems, the bitter truth is that the city does not have enough number of traffic police personnel to regulate traffic. If traffic police sources are to be believed, the city which ought to have at least 200 traffic police personnel, sadly has just around 80 personnel. That too with a few posted elsewhere, the available personnel is just around 50, admits Traffic ACP Uday Nayak.
What is shocking to know is that no new traffic police personnel have been deputed to the city since the past four years. In the absence of traffic police men at some vital points, it is but natural for motorists to flout the rules, and it is not uncommon to see some two-wheelers royally driving right on the foot path least bothered about the consequences.
Though the traffic police authorities promise action, such violation of rules continue to take place. To top it all, the city is facing serious parking problem for the increasing number of vehicles. It is a horrible sight on some roads to see vehicles parked in an absolute haphazard manner in turn leading to traffic blockades.
The erstwhile City Police Commissioner while participating in a function in June last year had spoken about the M-Track planned to be implemented in Mangaluru on the lines of B-Track of Bengaluru to ease traffic congestion. The Commissioner had then informed that the Rs 25 crore project envisaged utilisation of Rs 5 crore for better traffic management and that M-Track will address the issues of traffic congestion and safety using the latest traffic management technology.
The Commissioner had even spoken about the installation of an intelligence signal using modern sensor technology which will work in accordance to the density of traffic. But as of now, there has been no information of any development with regard to the implementation of this plan.
In the meantime, the Mangaluru City Corporation has proposed to widen as many as 19 traffic junctions including the Karangalpady, Karavali and Kankanady Junctions which witness heavy traffic apart from the Hampankatta Junction, PVS Circle, Mallikatta Junction, Circuit House Junction and Navabharath Junction.
The hope is that as promised all the projects would be completed in the near future in the best interest of Mangalureans.
The need of the hour is for a strong will-power, determination and conviction on the part of the elected representatives and those at the helm of affairs in the MCC to initiate the works at the earliest so that the city can get rid of its traffic bottlenecks.
Now that the MCC has a new full-time Commissioner after a gap of almost six months, it has kindled hopes that the city’s long pending woes would soon see early redressal.Traffic snarls that are a nightmare underline the need for a comprehensive traffic management system in place. But can it be a reality in the near future?