Exit Circles, Enter Islands! A.B. Shetty ‘Circle’ Razed for ‘Island’ to Allow Circular One-Way Traffic
Mangaluru: Once 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 are razing 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 will be a thing of the past in many areas.
It is learnt that MSCL and the MCC have decided to do away with circles and replace them with traffic islands that comparatively require less space. While the City has already demolished Mahaveer Circle and Dr Ambedkar Circle long back- now the A B Shetty Circle has been razed to the ground. And the man at MSCL who was responsible for constructing all these mega circles will be pissed off, for sure. Pretty soon, the Hamilton Circle (State Bank Circle), Rao & Rao Circle, among others will be removed soon.
A B SHETTY CIRCLE BEFORE…..
But the officials have decided to continue with the construction of the Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Circle (Navabharath Circle), which was demolished to make way for a better and bigger circle. Removing other Circles, and planning on building this Circle doesn’t make any sense to me. In fact, the MCC had demolished the Navabharath Circle last month, to construct a new one, since the MSCL has been developing two roads adjacent to the Circle. Speaking to the media, MCC Mayor Premanand Shetty said, “MSCL and MCC will introduce more traffic islands rather than constructing new circles in the future. We have planned to remove circles in the City and set up traffic islands, and thereby allow one-way traffic. In such places, movement of vehicles will be allowed from all sides at intervals, with the help of traffic signals. Though Ambedkar/JyothiCircle is a major traffic junction in the City, we have decided not to build a circle there. Instead, a traffic island will be provided to allow one-way traffic from all three directions, at intervals”.
A B SHETTY CIRCLE NOW….
Mayor further said, “Possibilities of choking of traffic movement are more if a circle structure is built at Ambedkar/Jyothi Circle. All vehicles will have to be allowed to move without pause if a circle is built there. Similarly, there are many other locations in the City, where we have plans to do away with circles. A traffic island will be set up at AB Shetty circle, where the circle structure has already been demolished. The work of developing a five-lane Smart road between Clock Tower and AB Shetty Circle is being expedited and expected to be completed within two months. Similarly, the pedestrian underpass near the Clock Tower also will be ready in two months”.
Construction of Mega Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Circle (Navabharath Circle) – Does it make any sense?
On Wednesday, the iconic A.B. Shetty Circle, named after the erstwhile Vijaya Bank’s founding chairman Attavara Balakrishna Shetty, was razed to the ground. MSCL has already razed road medians along the stretch The circle located at the junction of Maidan Road and Mangaladevi Road in the Central Business district was renovated in 2011 by Vijaya Bank and further beautified in 2016 by the same bank. Surendra Hegde, who was Vijaya Bank’s Regional Manager in Mangaluru in 2016 when the circle was further beautified speaking to the media said, “I was pained to hear the news. With Vijaya Bank getting merged with Bank of Baroda, there appeared none to take care of the structure. The bank undertook the renovation of the circle in memory of its founding chairman. The then chairman wanted the damaged circle repaired to keep the banking spirit of the region alive and accordingly, the damaged structure was repaired, lights were installed and sprinkler was provided for watering the lawn”.
Hamilton Circle (State Bank Circle) will be demolished soon
Social activist G. Hanumanth Kamath also has expressed regret over the razing of the circle and said the city has lost one of its prominent landmarks. 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.