For the harassed motorists plying on city roads the apex court’s directive on Friday banning installation of statues and construction of shrines in public places came as a big relief. Citizens can now hope that the situation on city roads will not deteriorate any further, thanks to the court directive, but the present scenario is bleak. A recent traffic survey shows that motorists in the city have to invariably dodge nearly 90 religious structures, 26 natural structures such as trees and boulders, and 51 electric poles along with as many as 33 miscellaneous obstructions. While older parts of the city like Charminar and Falaknuma top the chart with 24 and 23 obstructions respectively, the newer thoroughfares are not far behind in this infamous tally. The Begumpet main road, a major arterial road, alone has a total of 21 obstructions.
The situation is such that other than Abids, all other areas in the city have traffic obstructions of one kind or the other. “Hyderabad is an old city and because of this city’s planning, traffic and road management are a challenge,” a senior police official said. But one should be careful in putting the blame on one particular department, he cautioned. For one, there are a myriad of roads crisscrossing in the city which include national and state highways along with small and ancient streets. While it is difficult to widen older streets as people have been residing in the area for long, conflicts in jurisdictions between various departments hamper work on other major roads,” he explained. One can often see that motorists are forced to dodge trees or electrical poles that are standing in the centre of roads, and this is the result of the lack of coordination between departments, he pointed out. Unless the departments concerned come together and the government gets its act together, the travails of the motorists will continue unabated, he added.