When travelling via the Nanthoor Circle, KPT Junction, and Mahaveer Circle, which appear to be the city’s three main intersections, the city’s locals frequently advise finding alternate routes.
National Highway 66 is every driver’s deadliest dread. In all three of these junctions, the situation gets worse on Mondays and Saturdays, but Nanthoor has been experiencing extraordinary traffic gridlocks nearly every day for the past month.
The unusually high density traffic is caused by traffic flowing from the Padil side towards Nanthoor instead of Mahaveer Circle, as the old National Highway stretch between Mahaveer Circle (Pumpwell) and Padil is getting a makeover with the government sanctioning Rs 30 crore to widen the stretch.
The traffic cops manning the traffic circle are at their wits’ end trying to manage the never-ending gridlock. The Pumpwell-Padil segment, which was formerly a part of the Mangaluru-Bengaluru NH 75, was denotified by the NHAI after a new four-lane highway connecting the city through Nanthoor opened. Currently, just one side of the 2.8-kilometer span is being concretized. Vehicles from Puttur on BC Road, particularly large vehicles, are travelling via Nanthoor to avoid getting caught in traffic.
It will take time to streamline traffic, according to ACP (Traffic) Geetha Kulkarni, who has repeatedly evaluated the traffic situation at Nanthoor Circle with the help of specialists. This is because the vehicle flow needs to be thoroughly examined before remedial actions can be taken. The operationalization of the traffic signals at the intersection, she added, is also planned, but only after a thorough investigation, which would take time given the traffic’s convoluted flow from all directions, particularly from KPT Junction and the Kulshekar and Padil sides.
The extremely high volume of traffic, particularly tankers and other large vehicles, the lack of space for free left turns (towards NH 169 Bikarnakatte) for vehicles entering from the KPT Junction side of the highway (NH66), and, on the other hand, the traffic flow from NH 169 from Moodbidri and now Padil (NH 75) are all complicating the situation at Nanthoor Junction. During traffic congestion, which normally lasts a couple of hours between 8 a.m. and noon, Half-kilometer-long lines can be found on NH 66 and NH 169 between 3 and 5pm.