The blinking showpiece of Manipal2 min read
Manipal: The traffic lights installed at Manipal blink yellow every day, doing nothing to streamline the flow of vehicles along the main road. The lights, at Tiger Circle, Syndicate Circle and near Manipal Institute Technology, have been non-functional since April last year, causing pedestrians much discomfort in the face of increased traffic.
The traffic in Manipal is much lesser when compared to other places. However, there is not even one traffic police official deployed in Manipal and it is the civil police who takes care of the traffic problem, if the need arises.
TMJ spoke to the police about the non-operational traffic lights. “The lights are not functional because there are parked vehicles on both the sides due to which the traffic can’t move if they are made operational ”, said Inspector H.D. Kulkarni of the Manipal Police Station . “Also there was a plan of widening the roads which has not been taken up by the Municipal Corporation. Once these things are fixed in place, only then can we implement the traffic regulations properly”, he added.
Many roadside shops at Tiger Circle were to be demolished for the roads to be extended, but the Municipal Corporation has been mum on the topic, since these shops have been there in Manipal for over 25 years. “We have reserved a fund of three crore for the road expansion and the work will be directed to the Public Works Department after the rains. So hopefully, the work should finish in one year or so. The shops will be demolished only if a need arises,” said Gokuldas Nayak, City Municipal Corporation Commissioner.
The authorities appear to passing the buck on to each other. This indicates the point that, had these problems been pre-determined and well coordinated, the job would have been much easier. The installed lights will be non operational until the road is widened. “The lights if not operational are definitely a waste of public money,” said Kulkarni.
Caught up between this bureaucratic mess, are the pedestrians and the daily commuters. Ganesh Pai, a resident of Parkala who commutes daily from Manipal to his place, said that there is no traffic discipline in this area. “I have a vision problem and can’t judge the speed of the traffic vehicles. Unlike youngsters, I can’t run and cross the roads. The absence of traffic lights surely is a problem”. Asked if the scenario will change in the times to come, Kulkarni said, “This will surely take time as it involves a lot of government paper work. Probably in the next five years it may happen”.
Sub-edited by:Vrinda Manocha