Activists and local residents are calling for minor changes to the main traffic signal system inside Gudalur town, to ensure better traffic flow and make it safer for pedestrians to cross the busy stretch of the national highway. The junction, located along the highway leading to Gundlupet in Karnataka, also branches off to Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad district, at the intersection.
However, due to encroachments, illegal parking of vehicles and autorickshaw stands, the traffic signal usually causes gridlocks, especially during peak hours and during weekends, when tourist flow increases.
Local resident R Gopalakrishnan said that the recent spell of heavy rains had led to sections of the road near the junction becoming extremely damaged, further slowing traffic flow along the route.
“Moreover, as the signal itself is extremely confusing, motorists, especially tourists proceeding towards Thorapalli from the road via Sulthan Bathery are unsure whether they are allowed a free left at the intersection, usually leading to policemen at the check-post stopping and fining them,” he said. S. Sivasubramaniam, general secretary of the Gudalur Consumer Protection Center, said that the municipality should take steps to curb illegal parking at the junction, while the National Highways Authority of India should identify shopkeepers, who have encroached upon the road and demolish the buildings.
“Heavy vehicles should not be allowed into the town using the same route as they damage roads and cause traffic jams. Instead, trucks and lorries should be diverted via the alternative road from Mel Gudalur to the bus stand,” he said.
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