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Srirangam struggles to cope with rising traffic

With devotees from various parts of the country coming to the temple town, Srirangam is chock-a-block with heavy traffic every day.

With the Cauvery Mahapushkaram event scheduled next month, the movement of devotees is expected to soar further.

Even as hectic arrangements are underway for the Mahapushkaram, the spotlight has again turned on dealing with the heavy density of vehicular movements as the temple town celebrates the event which takes place once in 12 years .

Absence of a dedicated bus terminal coupled with parking of tourist vehicles carrying devotees at convenient spots along road-sides has often resulted in traffic hold-ups.

During peak hours areas near Srirangam bus stand and its vicinity presents a chaotic picture with vehicle users getting stranded amid blaring of horns even as traffic police struggle to deal with the situation.

The Amma Mandapam road – a main thoroughfare dotted with commercial establishments and other institutions leading to the temple witnesses heavy movement of vehicles.

Parking along the road by tourist vehicles of different types and those used by locals makes it difficult for motorists to manoeuvre especially in the stretch from Pulimandapam junction to the bus stand. The existing road space in that stretch gets shrunk due to haphazard parking of vehicles.

Although a proposal was sent by the civic body to the State government for establishing a bus stand at Panchakarai near the Yatri Nivas, it is yet to fructify.

A sprawling vacant site along the Salai road has been serving as a temporary parking lot for tourist buses – some of which are also parked in narrow lanes abutting the Thiruvadi Street and other streets.

The Cauvery Pushkaram Committee members say they expect a huge turn out of devotees for the event even from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The floating population of devotees many of whom are expected to come in their own vehicles is expected to run in thousands every day.

“Lakhs of devotees are expected to converge at the temple town for the 12-day Mahapushkaram which will only add up to the vehicle density. In this situation the administration has to gear up to find a long-term solution to address the issue of vehicular congestion”, says J. Ananthapadmanabhan, a resident of Srirangam.

A senior official said the administration would soon convene a meeting with all departments regarding the arrangements to be made for the ensuing Cauvery Mahapushkaram event.


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