• Narrow lanes are one of the reasons for frequent traffic snarls 
  • Traffic police are running short of hands to manage growing traffic
The traffic at Powerpet station gate  in Eluru city
Eluru: West Godavari district is hailed as the rice bowl of Andhra Pradesh but its headquarter city Eluru  as been hit by traffic gridlock. Even though many district offices are situated in this small city, but no one seem to have made efforts to ease traffic congestion. Despite Eluru being upgraded to city from municipality level but traffic has been a bane for the denizens.
  
Eluru, a century-old town, in West Godavari has an estimated population of three and half lakh people. The oldest town bagged  city tag in 2004 during Congress regime and Eluru Krishna Canal is flowing in the midst of the city. 

The Grand National Trunk Road (GNT) (National Highway No.5) passing through the city adjacent to the Krishna canal.  The Chennai-Kolkata national railway line also passing through the city dividing Powerpet, Ramakrishnapuram, old town areas. 

The city once named for its traffic problem with the railway gates at Vatluru, Venkatraopet, Powerpet, Old bus stand and Eastern Locks areas. When the lorries or any vehicles intend to cross the city, 

they hurried to pass over the railway gates in the city and outskirts. With this, it has become a regular event of traffic snarls. To avoid the traffic congestion, the then Congress government constructed a mini bypass road connecting Eastern locks and Vatluru on both ends of the city. 

Even then, the traffic problem could not be resolved. The main bypass road which was constructed under Golden Quadrilateral programme of the then NDA government was completed in late 1990’s but then only 10,000 vehicles passed through the main bypass road but now it has almost doubled.  

Traffic in the city of narrow lanes was growing by the day. Even though officials constructed an underbridge at Venkatraopet railway gate and a railway overbridge at old bus stand besides the foot bridge at Powerpet was replaced by another bridge but the traffic has also doubled, without giving any relief to citizens. 

Adding to their woes, even police were running short of sufficient staff to control traffic. Even though, 93 traffic centres have been identified in the city but it could post personnel in only 63 centres, leaving more than 30 centres unmanned.   

For better traffic management, the government appointed a DSP for the traffic sub division separately and a Traffic Circle inspector, but actual need of the department is more than 60 personnel to handle the growing traffic. However, the existing staff are trying hard to manage heavy traffic in the city.