THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Protests are mounting against the outsized ‘Annie Mascrene Square’ which is coming up at Xanadu Junction, with traffic snarls becoming routine event at newly created bottle-neck.
Though the Vellayambalam-Thycaud road is wide, the new over-sized roundabout is creating traffic snarls, motorists complain. “It’s so big, it’s eating into the width of the road. If I remember correctly, years ago there used to be just a traffic umbrella here,” said Ratnakaran, an auto driver.
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court had opined last February that traffic islands are not ideal locations for installing statues as they create problems for motorists. But the PWD had gone ahead with the work. At Xanadu Junction, the statue of freedom fighter Annie Mascrene is yet to be installed, but the complaints all pertain to the size of the traffic circle which is considered too large for the junction.
Meanwhile, the issue has also got a political twist. The BJP has planted party flags and banners on the site demanding that the unscientific project be scrapped immediately. “For whom this stupidity? reads the banner and the saffron party has alleged that the round is a drain on public coffers.
For erecting the freedom fighter’s statue at Xanadu Junction, the UDF Government had sanctioned Rs 10 lakh as financial assistance to the Latheen Catholika Aikya Vedi-backed Annie Mascrene Memorial Charitable Society.
At the time of the High Court observation on statues, the PWD had been flooded with requests for installing statues across the capital city. Following the HC observation, PWD officials had said said they would proceed only after getting a clarification from the State Government.
But PWD officials said that the circle would not create problems for traffic. “It has been constructed on NATPAC design. Its size, in fact, has been reduced. There will be no problems for motorists,” a top PWD official said.