Enforcement of One-Way Rule & Traffic Diversion Irk Motorists & Pedestrians

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Enforcement of One-Way Rule & Traffic Diversion on Clock Tower- A B Shetty Circle -Clock Tower Irk Motorists & Pedestrians, since it is too confusing, and could lead to accidents

Mangaluru: With the petrol price for a litre reaching Rs 108 plus, and with the new One-Way Rule and traffic diversion enforced by the traffic police on the Clock Tower- AB Shetty Circle- Clock Tower, a 300-meter drive prior to changes, has now been extended to more than 1.5 km journey, where motorists coming from Pandeshwar (Forum Fiza Mall side) are prohibited from making a right turn near A B Shetty Circle going towards the Fire Station, thus forcing motorists to take a circuitous route via the narrow Old-Kent Road.

Even the motorists coming from District Administration offices near State Bank Circle/Hamilton Circle are affected as they have to either drive or ride via Rao & Rao circle towards Clock Tower and move forward towards the Fire Station Road or go via Rosario Church, Pandeshwar Katte Road and Old Kent Road- thus making the earlier 300-meter journey extending now to nearly a 1.5 Km journey, which many drivers/riders are not happy and fuming with anger.

The Traffic Police, who enforced a circular One-Way traffic rule from Clock tower to Clock Tower via AB Shetty Circle via Hamilton Circle via Rao & Rao Circle without any authorization for over a month since mid- August, regularized it only after an application under the Right To Information (RTI) Act was filed to know under what authority they were enforcing the rule.

In the month of August-September 2021, Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) and the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) decided to do away with circles and Medians replacing them with traffic islands that comparatively require less space. While the City had also demolished Mahaveer Circle and Dr Ambedkar Circle long back, followed by A B Shetty Circle being razed to the ground. If you look at it, long-ago, trying to be SMART- the officials of Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) and Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) went on constructing Mega Circles in the City, and now they razed them down to make way for Islands to facilitate smooth flow of traffic or for Circular One-Way traffic. After all a total waste of taxpayers money-oh well-does anyone care about it, after all, the money doesn’t belong to them.

And with all major roads in the City being developed through the Smart City project and by the MCC, Circles and medians will be a thing of the past in many areas, like what we are seeing on the stretch of Road from Clock Tower Via Hamilton Circle toward Clock Tower, as part of the Circular One-Way plan. On 23 September 2021, City police commissioner N Shashi Kumar during a special meeting chaired by Mayor Premanand Shetty resolved to make the road stretch one-way. Police Commissioner had said that MCC Commissioner Akshy Sridhar had written to him on 16 September seeking a declaration of the Maidan Road from Clock tower to Clock Tower via A B Shetty Circle- Hamilton Circle and Rao & Rao Circle as Circular One-Way. Also ACP (Traffic) M A Natarj had also submitted a report with suggestions based on the letter from the MCC commissioner”.

“Accordingly, the stretch has been declared one-way and vehicular movement will not be allowed from the opposite direction. The new traffic arrangement will solve the congestions at major junctions on the stretch and reduce the number of accidents. The medians constructed on the stretch are being removed to facilitate the smooth movement of vehicles. The issue of lack of parking space can be solved by allowing parking on one side of the road stretch after the one-way traffic implementation. The ACP (Traffic) will make necessary arrangements to erect signboards announcing one-way traffic movement on the stretch. Therefore, the 550-meter Maidan road between the Clock tower and A B Shetty Circle; 250-meters of Road between A B Shetty Circle and Hamilton Circle; and 250-meters of Road between Hamilton Circle and Rao & Rao Circle; and 450-meters of Road from Rao & Rao Circle to Clock Tower will be considered as Circular One-Way”, had said Police Commissioner in September.

Meanwhile, Social activist G. Hanumanth Kamath expressed regret over the razing of A B Shetty circle and other Circles and medians saying that the city has lost one of its prominent landmarks, and the authorities concerned were implementing the one-way traffic system without consulting the general public. Even the Mangaluru City Corporation did not come to any conclusive decision on the proposal, he said. Quoting a senior MSCL official who reportedly told him that the one-way traffic was being implemented on a trial basis, Kamath questioned the need for razing road medians and the circle for the trial of a new system. The roads were wide enough and there were no traffic jams in the locality, he told the media.

Other citizens have also raised their complaints that this new plan is making it hard for pedestrians to cross the road, and whatever plan is executed is totally unscientific and not well planned. Others have said that this plan has increased traffic during peak hours and not decreased, and the removal of medians has made it difficult for people to cross the road. MSCL should have finished all the pending works before planning this one-way project in a scientific way, rather than rushing ahead. With no proper bus stops, buses are seen stopping wherever they feel, creating traffic chaos.

It is also learnt that to questions in the RTI query regarding traffic survey, traffic pattern study and expert opinions compelling the police to declare the stretch one-way, the police did not give back any reply. It is also learnt that the Public Information Officer only reiterated the recommendation of the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Nataraj, which among other things, said that the move will ease traffic flow in that region. Meanwhile, DK Deputy Commissioner Dr K V Rajendra did not arrange any public consultation on the issue as promised before formalizing the One-Way Rule.

In conclusion, now with a bunch of complaints raised by the public and activists, I hope this project won’t get a stay order like a few other projects which have been stalled due to HC orders. Or there could be chances that the circles and medians will be built again in order to compromise the complaints?


Medians Out, Islands In! Top Cop Issues Order Making Clock Tower Stretch via Hamilton Circle One-Way

Smart City May See A Circular One-Way from Clock Tower-A B Shetty Circle…..Planned by MSCL

Exit Circles, Enter Islands! A.B. Shetty ‘Circle’ Razed for ‘Island’ to Allow Circular One-Way Traffic

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