By P.T. Bopanna
Traffic movement had become chaotic at Gonikoppal, the commercial capital of Kodagu. Vehicle parking is a major issue and one of the main bottlenecks is what goes by the name of ‘bus-stand’ in the heart of the town.
The first and foremost thing the local police inspector who announced the one-way decision recently, should have thought of was the condition of the roads within Gonikoppal and around the town. The roads are full of potholes and it is the No.1 reason for the traffic jam. Unless the roads are repaired, it is no use introducing the one-way system. The inspector had announced that the one-way rule will come into effect within 10 days.
Another important issue that has to be tackled is to shift the bus-stand which is too small and leads to traffic bottlenecks. The bus-shelter in the stand collapsed a couple of years ago and a temporary structure has been built which resembles a cow-shed. And what goes by the name of toilet is an insult to the reputation of the town. The infighting among the local politicians is said to be the reason for the sorry state affairs in the town.
K.M. Aiyappa, a local businessman, has welcomed the decision to introduce the one-way system, while he agrees on the need to go into proper planning before the introduction of one-way.
The condition of the by-pass road is in a bad shape and this could affect the flow of traffic and worsen the situation further.
Vivek Poovaiah a local activist, said one-way was not a viable option until the alternate route is well planned and designed. “In the current scenario, it will end up in further chaos near Umamaheshwari ‘T’ junction. The entire current by-pass stretch should be cleared of encroachment, etc.”
Shyam Chengappa, a road user, said the two junctions – Pollibetta and Ponnampet junctions – in the town were the main trigger points for traffic jam in Gonikoppal . This aspect should be attended to before the one-way was introduced.
Compared to Bengaluru, the motorists in Kodagu are a disciplined lot. However, unless the road conditions are improved, the one-way system may not yield the desired result.