|Truck terminal thrown open in Puducherry to reduce traffic congestion is of no avail|
VIOLATION: Trucks lined up in the busy Rangapillai Street in Puducherry on Sunday.
PUDUCHERRY: Trucks still ply into the town despite a ban on their entry during daytime after the Mettupalayam lorry terminal was thrown open for parking.
The terminal was inaugurated on June 25 with the aim of reducing traffic congestion in Puducherry. According to the Government plan, which was introduced on July 1, trucks should enter the town only during night for transporting goods. The entry was banned from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Outstation trucks entering the Union Territory in the daytime had to station in the terminal.
It had also been laid down that the trucks coming from Tindivanam and Cuddalore should reach the terminal via Indira Gandhi Statue, and those coming through Villupuram Road should take a diversion at Moolakulam to reach the terminal.
So far, the plan remains on paper. One can see heavy vehicles entering the town even during peak hours to transport goods. Trucks enter the busy and narrow roads on either side of Jawaharlal Nehru Street, crossing several traffic posts. Sand-laden lorries too defy the ban and ply through the town.
They even unload the cargo blocking the traffic flow.
However, the police sources say that the movement of trucks has been closely monitored, and more than 80 cases have been booked for violating restrictions. A fine of Rs.1,000 has been imposed on violators, according to traffic police.
The truck drivers argue that they have no other option but to enter the town since the basic facilities such as booking offices, as promised by the Government, have not been provided at the terminal. Unless the booking offices are relocated, it will be difficult for them to operate from the terminal, they say. Also, adequate facilities are not yet to be provided for night stay, they allege.
According a traffic police, the issue has been taken up with the Oulgaret Municipality.
The booking agents are of the view that the Government should not have acted “hastily” to inaugurate the terminal, constructed at a cost of about Rs.3 crore, without ensuring that basic facilities are in place.
If the facilities are not provided, the much touted truck terminal will remain unused, though the Government has all along been saying that the project is aimed at easing the traffic congestion in the town.
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