JAYASHANKAR BHUPALPALLY: Running into a traffic jam would be the last thing anyone would want while visiting a tourist spot. Unfortunately, in the recent past, snarled-up traffic has been welcoming tourists to one of the popular travel destinations in the State — the Laknavaram Bridge.
The recent addition of the suspension bridge to the existing one has brought in thousands to the Laknavaram lake in Govindaraopet. However, increased popularity of the lake has been marred by the trailing traffic.
The traffic snarls usually stretch over a kilometre — from the parking lot on top of the hill to the first checkpoint. It gets worse on public holidays when the footfall is high and buses come in large numbers.
Surprisingly, the issue persists despite Laknavaram being identified as one of the destinations to be developed as part of the integrated development of tribal circuit in Telangana under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of the Ministry of Tourism. 42 crore of the total 84.40 crore sanctioned has been released to develop the destination.
Other tourist spots in the circuit include Tadvai-Damaravi and Bogata Waterfalls. “Traffic jams have been a major problem at the Laknavaram bridge. This is primarily due to lack of parking space,” said B Manohar, MD of Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC). “We are unable to procure land to construct a parking space in the region. The place is located in a reserved forest area due to which land procurement has been difficult. We are planning to buy a private land parcel outside the forest area to tackle the issue,” assured Manohar.
However, the existing route that carries traffic is also marred by serious engineering shortcomings. With no crash barriers on the ghat road leading to the entry, the risk of commute has increased manifold.
“The road has been constructed on a hillock and there is no single crash barrier to stop the vehicle in case of a fall. The turn on the ghat road is sharp. Any miscalculation will lead to vehicles falling from 60 feet,” observed an official.
Though eco-tourism officials have made stop-gap arrangements, they are yet to be formalised. “We have been using a private land parcel to keep the buses and cars at bay on a busy day. But space has to be completely built to facilitate better travel,” said K Suman, eco-tourism coordinator.