Traffic management at IFFI inaugural ends in disaster

The grand traffic arrangement by the Goa Traffic Police for 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) ended in a flop show on day one, leading to traffic chaos in the city and causing inconvenience to citizens.

There was a sense of déjà vu as the IFFI inaugural took off and traffic was diverted. Traffic congestion in the city was only expected, knowing the capacity of the traffic police, even as the Panjim traffic cell on Monday had released a detailed traffic arrangement and parking plan, in a bid to avoid chaotic situation.

The Mahatma Gandhi road which was the main transit line for traffic since Dayanand Bandodkar road from Kala Academy to Miramar Circle was closed for the IFFI inaugural ceremony, witnessed traffic snarls throughout evening.

The by-lanes too were chock-a-block as irate and impatient motorists forced their way into three lanes of cars and scooterists lined up in two lanes jamming the oncoming traffic, giving a tough time to traffic personnel controlling the situation.

The traffic intensified at 4 pm, around the time of the IFFI inauguration ceremony, which clashed with government offices closure.

The state, in a notification, had rescheduled the office timings for all the government offices, local and autonomous bodies, and public sector undertaking situated within the jurisdiction of City Corporation of Panjim, Taleigao Panchayat and Porvorim to avoid traffic congestion.

“It took me 25 minutes to reach the office while my home is hardly 200 meters away,” a private sector employee, who was on his way back to office after lunch, said. This was just one of the many cases of people caught and unduly inconvenienced in traffic, which reemphasizes the need for hosting such mega events only after adequate infrastructure is created instead of preying on the infrastructure which is barely sufficient for the local population. [H]