Piliyandala- Kottawa Road congested once more

Published : 9:23 am  January 26, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (797) reads | 

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by Text & Pics by Dayarathna Pathirana   
Vehicles using the Piliyandala- Kottawa Road have been allowed to run amok at the Mawaththara junction, severely inconveniencing residents and pedestrians.   


Residents said police officials had directed traffic at the junction for several days after an article regarding the severe congestion was published in the Daily Mirror several months ago. However, the congestion has become uncontrollable once more.   


The route leads to both the Piliyandala and Kottawa main roads, alternative roads for Kesbewa and Maharagama and was used by buses travelling to Kottawa and Piliyandala, as well as buses travelling to and from Panadura and Kandy.   

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The road was also used to transport furniture made in Moratuwa to several parts of the island, in addition to people travelling to Horana, Bandaragama, Kesbewa and Maharagama. Residents also said more than 20,000 vehicles usedthe road every day.   


The road is impossible to travel on from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m and 4.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day due to the severe congestion. Although authorities have taken measures to re-carpet the road, it had not been widened as is required.   


Residents said vehicles could not travel in opposite directions along the road due to its narrowness. Additionally, vehicles travelling from Kesbewa to the Mawiththara junction have to pass a small hill which makes it impossible to see the junction ahead, creating further traffic in the area. Another issue is that motorists travelling from Maharagama cannot see vehicles turning into the road going towards Maharagama.   


As motorists want to reach their destination as soon as possible, many do not see vehicles approaching from opposite directions at the Mawiththara junction, causing congestion in the area, residents complain.   


Residents living in the vicinity of the junction said they took close to an hour to park vehicles in their homes because of the traffic. Shopkeepers in the area too complained that customers found it difficult to enter their shops. A resident and former Kesbewa Urban Councillor Chamara Maddumakaluge, speaking of the traffic in the area said the number of vehicles using the road had increased after an alternative road was constructed from Kesbewa to Jaliyagoda.   


“This road should be widened as soon as possible and a policeman should direct the traffic in the area every morning and evening until then,” he said.   


The road was also home to a minister in the previous government and the police had directed the flow of traffic clearing the road but that was no longer the case, Maddumakaluge said.   


Another resident, Kasun Apasinghe said he took at least forty minutes to park his car in his house because of the traffic. “I take about 40 minutes just to leave my house every morning. This is not a rare occurrence, it happens daily.”


The residents had requested the police to deploy an officer to direct the traffic. However, they had been told the police did not have sufficient officers to direct traffic in the said area.   


“The police did direct traffic for several days after an article was published on the issue,” Apasinghe said.