Widened roads fail to ease traffic congestions on NH-16

Extended stretches occupied by vendors, used as parking spaces by shops

VISAKHAPATNAM: The widened patches on the NH-16 has failed to ease the traffic snarls as intended as they have been either occupied by the street vendors or are being used as the parking spaces by business establishments.

The police authorities say that once the GVMC finishes laying of the roads, they would impose fines on the violators. The NH widening at the Maddilapalem, Isukathota areas has brought no respite from the severe traffic jams and instead, it has added to the woes of the motorists. Auto-rickshaws are also making use of the stretches as the waiting zones.

“The road widening works are of no use. Auto-rickshaw drivers halt their vehicles. With many sweet shops and wine outlets dotting the road at Isukathota, people park their vehicles on roadside which make the traffic snarls worse,” says Syed Tanveer, a resident of Pithapuram Colony.

In May, the civic body took up road widening project in a stretch of 24 km between the Airport Junction in Sheelanagar to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) office, close to the Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) towards Srikakulam. As per the project report, the highway has been widened to about two to five feet depending on the need. In several places, the streetlights are yet to be removed after the road widening works.

Admitting that the widened roads are being used as parking lots of the shops and illegal hawkers’ zone, additional deputy commissioner of police (traffic) K Mahendra Patrudu said: “We can impose fines on the motorists for illegal parking now, but the civic body has to complete the road engineering works first,” he said.

According to the ADCP, the road, even after the widening works, has no lane markings that the vehicles could follow. “The road markings will make the motor and non-motor track distinct. Once the works are over, the motorists could clearly notice the area not meant for parking. Moreover the ‘No Parking boards have to be arranged immediately,” said ADCP. The GVMC officials said that the road engineering works would start soon.

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