ON THE WRONG SIDE – Road users want hawk-eyed cops to clear Kothrud chaos

More Rules Bent During Peak Hours
Several commuters, particularly college students, risk their lives on a daily basis when they choose to drive on the wrong side of MIT College Road, parallel to Paud Road, in Kothrud.As is the case across the ci ty, most motorists here take to wrong-side drivingso they don’t have to cover a kilometre-long distance. Local shopkeepers and residents observe that the area is gradually turning accident-prone as the number of violators increases.

Motorcyclists, cars and autorickshaws rampantly break the law along MIT College Road and cause inconvenience to several commuters travelling towards the city .Kothrud resident Satish Kanekar told TOI, “More Vidyalaya junction has become dangerous as many people prefer to take the shortcut from Paud road and travel on the wrong side of the road. If you are not careful you are bound to meet with an accident here.“ Regular commuters point out that the situation is quite bad throughout the day but things go from bad to worse during peak hours. “Police presence is required to stop these violations during rush hours,“ said another commuter Anurag Deshpande.

Some commuters blame the odd location of the U-turn for the chaos. A student stated, “If I want to go to the school, I have to travel almost an additional kilometre on a daily basis. The police can simply make the lane connecting MIT Road to Paud Road into a two-way street so that motorists stop driving on the wrong side.“ Other students shared that they preferred driving on the wrong side of the road to waiting through long traffic jams around the MIT College signal.

Officials from the Kothrud traffic division agree that motorcyclists driving on the wrong side of the road have become a major problem in some areas, particularly around More Vidyalaya. Senior police inspector Sunil Pandharkar of the Kothrud traffic division also said that the spot is on their priority list as it sees maximum traffic violations. “We carry out special dri ves regularly , but they haven’t achieved the desired results so far. We also appoint police personnel at the spot to regularise traffic, but in vain,“ Pandharkar said.

He further pointed out that people driving on the wrong side of the road are not only a hazard to road safety , they also block movement of vehicles travelling in the right direction.

He noted that people follow traffic rules only when police officials are present at the junction. “As responsible citizens, it is their duty to adhere to traffic rules sincerely . The number of traffic violations are increasing. The violators do not even care about putting the lives of other commuters at risk,“ Pandharkar said.

According to records maintained by the Kothrud traffic division, as many as 30 violators have been caught in each drive. Officials said that though the fine amount has been doubled it hasn’t created a deterrence among motorists.

Source : TOI