Traffic woes choke Udupi; public participation crucial to solution

Harshini Brahmavar
Pics: Umesh Marpalli / Ivan Mascarenhas / Suvarna Brahmavar
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi

Udupi, May 21: Traffic problems are nothing new, but these days, Udupi and surrounding places have been witnessing a surge in traffic chaos with an exponential rise in the number of cars on roads. As per an RTO survey report, there are more than 30,000 new vehicles in 2015, as compared to 2014.

It is three years since the traffic chaos started near Brahmavar bus stand and Akashvani. The people have waited patiently with the hope that the situation would improve, but with people's representatives and road contractors not responding to their problems, people are losing patience.

The problem that started with the four-lane work on national highway has become complex as the days passed by and there are no signs of a solution. Thousands of travelers face hardships. Rickshaw associations have made several appeals and Heddari Ulisi committee has held protests, but the indifference by the authorities has continued.

A lot of work has been done on NH 66 but the main work at major junctions like Mulky, Padubridi, Kinnimulki, Ambalpadi, Karavali, Santhekatte, Brahmavar, Akashavani – Barkur turn, Koteshwar, Kundapur etc has been delayed.

The hardship faced by people travelling from Brahmavar bus stand to Barkur cannot be explained enough. As heavy vehicles ply from Mangaluru and Udupi to Bangaluru via this route, the problem has become acute. Added to it are the tankers plying to Shivamogga.

Locals say that the tower near Akashvani is the cause of many problems. A vehicle has to change lanes a minimum of 100 times while plying from Surathkal to Kundapur. The work in Brahmavar has no clear vision.


61 road accident deaths in four months

According to Udupi crime department's report, as many as 61 death cases have been reported in the district in just four months (from January- April 2015). Around 273 cases have been registered in the district with regard to road accidents. Nearly 130 people have suffered minor or major injuries.

No control over speed

Many drivers of express buses have no control over their driving. That’s why road accidents happen every day. At times, competition between two vehicles leads to accidents. Tailgating, poor lane discipline, failure to indicate, and overtaking irresponsibly are just a few of the bad habits that are common and very annoying. Aside from the inconvenience to other road users, this kind of rash driving is very dangerous too.

Regulation of fines

The traffic rules are quite flexible in Udupi city and the departments concerned need to be strict against violators by collecting fines. College students love to take jolly rides, putting all caution to the winds. Many of the bus drivers do not bother obeying signals, and drive their vehicles on congested paths.

Land acquisition for national highway

According to the NH authority, there is no land acquisition pending in Udupi city except on Padubidri highway. Due to the delay in the process, work on the drainage system is pending in some parts of Udupi.

Poor and unscientific method of construction of roads

Construction work is very poor at Karavali-Ambalpady-Santhekatte junction. The concrete work has been partially washed away by the first rain of this year. The contractor’s report to higher authorities says that work is done, but on the other side, they are preparing to fill the pot holes. Patch work is being done at Heroor.


Santhekatte Market

Especially on Sunday mornings, drivers and bike riders struggle to retrieve their vehicles from the parking spot at Santhekatte. The market is very close to the national highway. The small time traders pitch their businesses on the roadside. During the rainy season, the place is usually a mess with vegetable pieces, plastics, and other garbage lying around.

Condition of Bus Stops

During the time of land acquisition for road construction, the Santhekatte bus stand was demolished and later rebuilt. Karavali and Ambalpady bus stand are virtually useless because they have become a place for beggars, homeless people, and is always unclean. So, the public keep away from the bus stand. On the route from Kundapur to Udupi, some bus stands have been made of palm leaves and these get decomposed during the rainy season.

Unwanted banners and hoardings

There are no signals seen at the diversions, especially at corners and junctions. Regulating traffic movement by installing signals, traffic islands, road markings, and regulatory signs such as ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs is necessary.

Some of the things that can be particularly irritating about other drivers and their habits, like not switching on headlights when they are required to, using high beam headlights, or dipping only at the last minute, use of vacuum horns as well as impatient people pushing in ahead of a traffic queue, all add to traffic woes.

Lastly, public need to realize their responsibility and follow traffic rules. It is wrong to solely blame the traffic police for these problems and it is important that the public do their bit to help improve the situation.


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Comment on this article

  • akshay, perampalli

    Sun, May 31 2015

    Ignorance of following traffic rules and failing to meet the decency of road meets to fatal mishaps leading to life and property destruction. first of all R.T.O before issuing driving licence should strictly make aware of the traffic rules to the public instead of blindly issuing liscence. Abide these bus drivers should have something called patience while driving. Proper caution boards and signals shd be installed in junction.. increased traffic awareness shd be proportionate to increased number of new vehicles on the road..

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • John DSouza, Mangaluru

    Mon, May 25 2015

    If we are ready to implement change, we can slove the problems of surface transport and enjoy peace, satisfaction and safety

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kusuma Kumari G Nellore, Nellore/Kodyadka

    Sun, May 24 2015

    Time to have signal lights and some underpass in this area. Otherwise there will be more traffic jams in this area

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronnie D'Souza, Mumbai

    Fri, May 22 2015

    It is so sad to read that due to negligence many lives are lost. My question to the readers- do the concern authorities go through our comments?

    I was born in Mangalore mid 40's and reached Bombay( now Mumbai) within a year. My next visit to Udipi was in the year 1978.

    This is my observation that few areas are attended many are neglected. Our suggestion is overlooked( if the concen authorities are reading)

    Let us see how we can get united so that what we ask for is seen and acted upon. Else it is waste of time. The need of the hour are Traffic Signals, and this can be installed by the traffic Deptt.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joackim Mendonca, Barkur / Mumbai

    Thu, May 21 2015

    Stop to Take HAFTHA to Police , Political Leaders and also Muncipality/grama Panchayath !follow up Rules Regulation ! Donot Allow any Vehicle in busiest area Like Bus stand and Markets! Do Stop for luxury bussess at limited time at bus stand !Dont allowed them to not more than assigned time ! do control of this ! WE ARE NOT Blaming Any vehicles! We are Blaming Political Leaders and TRAFFIC Controling Officers and Police department only ! Follow up Rules and Regulations ! Be Aware of Concern Persons ! ! !

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • gsr, Mangalore

    Fri, May 22 2015

    Time has come now for the IT dept. to raid the house of police officers and ministers. Hafta is the root cause of all this problem. If police and rules and regulations are strict, everybody will need to follow. Either traffice dept. less staffed or they turn a blind eye on the issue, while attending to the Ministers meeting and ribbon cutting ceremonies. It's a shame that we are far behind china in infrastructure. If we cann't manage a single district like DK properly, then what are we taling about India becoming a Dream country? It will remain a dream.

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter Lewis, Kalmady/k s a

    Thu, May 21 2015

    My childhood days are very good. without fear we walk and riding bicycle on roads. Only one bus per hour from Udupi to Malpe. Udupi to Kundapur as well as Barkur also same. No sound pollution, air pollution, trees on both sides of roads crystal clean water of rivers and so on.... Today in the name of development humans dying of their own fault just like dogs and cats.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shekar Moily Padebettu, Udupi/India

    Thu, May 21 2015

    indeed agree with John,Udupi's comment with regard to Traffic woes choke Udupi.Yes I do agree that some lapses are there from authorities concerned side due to heavy widening works going on in NH66.It does not mean that we the public are not at fault. We too equally held responsible for this type of traffic chaos because nobody has got the patience. Everybody is in hurry and wants to reach the destination by hook or crook even at the cost of poor pedestrians, who are crossing or walking on the road. Had anybody has got little bit of manners/sense about the traffic rules, these things could been minimized or averted to maximum level.
    But nobody wants sticks/adhere to traffic rule and take their own decision and drive recklessly without bothering about the accidents and traffic snarls. This is amazing. We can blame the authorities concerned to some extent/partly but not fully. Public participation is definitely crucial in solving the traffic woes. One should realize or understand his/her duties thoroughly. Some people are so rude and pretend as if the road belongs to them only, Mannerless people. Only because of these thugs, this type of problems arises.God saves us.Let the people understand their own responsibilities/duties and pave the way for smooth traffic.These problems are created by ourselves not by the God and hence don't blame others for your/our own mistakes/wrong doings.Before blaming others,judge yourself how correct you are?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, NY

    Thu, May 21 2015

    Headless people ...

    DisAgree [9] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Hamdan, Udupi/Dubai

    Thu, May 21 2015

    Traffic increases due to some idiot people, who doesnt follow traffic rules. People doesn't have patience to wait behind any vehicles. Eg: Two wheelers, auto rikshaw and Buses.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • P.Shirish Kumnar Hosabettu, Muscat, Mangalore

    Fri, May 22 2015

    My dear friends, road widening or repair work these all silly excuses.

    I challenge in public to Traffic Police department, let them prove , they are doing their duty honestly & sincerely. I have video recording & pictures of Traffic offenses.

    Even I say most of the Traffic Police are not aware of some of the Traffic rules. I am ready to prove this also.

    Secondly, we have seen more than 75% of the people are not following traffic rules & about 90% of the drivers don't know complete traffic rules.

    Why this is happening, simple answer is due to the negligence of local Traffic police department.

    There is no strict control over traffic system here in Karavali region.

    If any Traffic Staff disagree with me, please I am ready to clarify with you personally.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald D, Udupi

    Thu, May 21 2015

    Since NH66 4 laning is central government job....Both Mangalore and Udupi MP's should wake up from deep sleep and should give an account of the NH job completion....which is must with immediate effect!!
    Blame game can be held later at their leisure!! We need of NH work ASAP!!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, May 21 2015

    In complete road work.
    Lack of parking.
    Disrespect to traffic rules.
    Lack of patience.

    DisAgree Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • John, Udupi

    Thu, May 21 2015

    It like blaming God for the problems that we have created ourselves!. Why people have to look at our elected representatives and other public servants when we ourselves give a damn to traffic rules!?. Do we have the habit of waiting behind vehicles in the same lane when some problem occurs!?. Has anybody seen the wrong lane open at railway crossings!?. Why we do this and blame someone else and expect others to solve our wrongs!?. We are crazy people!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

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