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

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Medians Out, Islands In! Top Cop aka Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar, who is also a Additional District Magistrate Issues Order Making Clock Tower Stretch via Hamilton Circle (State Bank Circle) as Circular One-Way

Mangaluru: If A B Shetty Circle existed and the medians along the Clock Tower Stretch Via Hamilton Circle (State Bank Circle) via Rao & Rao circle existed couple of weeks ago- not any more, because Mangaluru smart City Limited (MSCL) and the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) have decided to do away with circles and Medians replacing 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 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 are razing them down to make way for Islands to facilitate smooth flow of traffic or for Circular One-Way traffic. Afterall 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.

BEFORE….

Effective immediately, the Clock Tower – AB Shetty Circle – Hamilton Circle – Rao and Rao Circle – Clock Tower road stretch in Mangaluru has been made Circular One-Way. City police commissioner N Shashi Kumar during a special meeting chaired by Mayor Premanand Shetty resolved to make the road stretch one-way.

AT PRESENT….

The Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) has been developing the road, footpaths and circles to convert the stretch into a one-way road.The Circular One-Way rule being enforced on a trial basis by Mangaluru City Traffic Police, joined with MSCL to make the stretch of the road from Clock Tower to Clock Tower via Hamilton Circle since over a month was on Thursday, 23 September 2021 regularized with the Police Commissioner issuing a formal order/notification. Police Commissioner sai, “MCC Commissioner Akshy sridhar had written to him on 16 September seeking 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 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” added Police Commissioner.

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 circ;les and Medians 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/Jyothi Circle 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”.

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 soon”.

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 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 with 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.

In conclusion, 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 order. Or there could be chances that the circles and medians will be built again in order to compromise the complaints?

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