ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 36
Kandy Times

One way traffic causing chaos in the hills

By Lalith Walisundara.

The benefits of introducing a one way traffic system in Kandy have still to be realised. Peradeniya Road and William Gopallawa Mawatha have been made one way according to this system where vehicles travelling from Kandy to Peradeniya have to travel along William Gopallawa Mawatha and vehicles from Peradeniya to Kandy have to drive along the Peradiniya Road. Parking has also been prohibited along these two main roads.

Introduced in a bid to ease heavy traffic flow entering and leaving the city, this system has caused much inconvenience to commuters using the public mode of transport.

Within the first day of implementation S.K. Seneviratne, a sixty-one year old father of four children, on his way to a private hospital to see his son, who was to undergoing a surgical operation died at the railway tracks when a train knocked him down. Another commuter S.Mitraratne, also met with the same fate when he was knocked while trying to cross the rail tracks recently.

These deaths were due to the fact that commuters had to walk across the rail crossing in order to get onto William Gopollawa road.

With nine schools on the old Kandy-Peradeniya road up to Gatambe, and thousands of students compelled to cross both highways and rail tracks to come to William Gopollawa road to take buses to get back home, the situation has posed a serous threat to their safety.

An urgent need has arisen to build atleast three or four overhead bridges on the way from Kandy High Schools and Getambe Mahanama Vidyalaya, a distance of about 3 kilometres.

Businessmen and consumers have expressed concern over the lack of parking facilities for vehicles when visiting places of business for buying and selling. Access roads to Kandy along Peradeniya, Katugastota, Kundasale and the Ampitiya road have become bottle necks.

Though name boards have been put up warning people that a fine of Rs.750/= would be imposed for crossing the road at places other than the Pedestrian crossing, more needs to be done with the building of over head bridges to cross the road safely without being fined for crossing the road at wrong places. If this is done accidents could be avoided and inconveniences caused to the people could be minimised. However there are also those who believe that this sytem does have a positive side to it. People like Corrina Sansoni, Directress of Stephanie's Hair and Beauty Care salon, situated along the Peradeniya Road says that although this scheme has resulted in much inconvenience and loss to business establishments, she believes that this was done for the development of the city and the well being of all road users and therefore the public should adjust themselves to the new regulations implemented by the Municipality and the Police.

She also added that people should be able to find alternate ways of overcoming these problems. As an example she points out that her customers who use public transport since they have to pay extra to get to her salon are eligible for a 25% discount. In addition to accommodate the new traffic regulations she has arranged parking space for two or three vehicles within her own premises.

Corrina feels that by accommodating the new changes she will overcome the problems they bring and will not lose any of her customers.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.