When everything goes smooth, trust the traffic managers to disturb the peace. That is what people and shop owners of Rabindranath Tagore Nagar (RT Nagar) say.
The RT Nagar Main Road, which is the lifeline of the upmarket locality, is a very small stretch. This road, devoid of any traffic congestion, has been uneventful for all these years.
Residents and shop owners now say, a month ago, a divider was installed between of the head post office and a supermarket. Before the divider’s installation, traffic used to flow only with some minor hitch, whereas now, vehicles drive over the non-illuminated divider at night, damaging their vehicles.
“More harm was done by installing a traffic signal system just before the RT Nagar bus stop. This signal, wholly unnecessary in this small junction, creates a traffic pile up when it works, and confusion when it blinks. More often, it blinks, while rash drivers speed through thinking it might turn red in the next second,” said Arvind Shine, proprietor of Shinde Eye Care.
Shinde said two deaths have taken place at this junction since the signal was put up. There was another short divider put up before the HDFC bank which was removed by the public themselves after many accidents occurred.
R Shankar, a technician who works in a nearby clinic said, “The traffic signal was doing more harm than good. The divider is a threat to four-wheelers at night as it has no illumination. What purpose do they serve?” he asks. Shankar says almost every night he lends a helping hand to a vehicle stuck on the divider.
“This is not all,” says Rameshwari Sinha, a shop owner at Rahmat Nagar, just a few yards away from the junction. “Civic agencies have dug up the road for laying some pipes and have destroyed it. The work went on for a year and even after that it was not levelled, which is creating hurdles, accidents and quarrels between vehicle owners,” he said.
However, RT Nagar traffic police deny these allegations. “Accidents happen because of the negligence of the motorists,” said HS Murali, traffic inspector RT Nagar. “Those arguing against it want the thing removed so that they could park at will,” they claim.
When contacted, MT Muthappa, a senior RT Nagar resident and secretary of Subhash Chandra Bose Park committee said the traffic signal has indeed slowed down the penchant of adventurous youths, who used to race away at the junction in whatever way they liked to. “The divider too, is not an issue. Rash driving and lack of traffic sense in general have contributed to problems everywhere, and RT Nagar is no exception,” he said.