Updated: 12/11/2013 02:34

Residents and businesses hope to see congestion ease off in Little India



Riot in Little India

Riot in Little India

Residents and businesses in Little India have called for a bus terminal to be provided for the pick up and drop off of foreign workers on weekends. 

They say this would help ease traffic congestion and also minimise accidents in the area. 

"More" needs to be done to improve the congestion situation in Little India. 

This is the general sentiment of those 938LIVE spoke to. 

Jamal, owner of a provision shop on Chander Road, describes how crowded Serangoon Road can get on a weekend. 

"We take taxi, we choose this place, say, ok go to Tekka. The taxi cannot come. It's crowded, people walking like that, all over." 

938LIVE was told traffic accidents are common here. 

And last Sunday, it was a fatal accident involving a bus and an Indian National, which sparked off an angry mob of about 400 people. 

The place was so congested, it delayed the arrival of the Special Operations Command or SOC forces at the riot scene by about 15 minutes. 

Commander of Tanglin Police Divisional Headquarters, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lu Yeow Lim disclosed this on Channel NewsAsia's Talking Point programme last night. 

He said some SOC vehicles could only reach the outskirts of the area. 

Those 938LIVE spoke to offered a few suggestions on how the situation can be improved. 

One of them is Mdm Chelvi. 

"The (pick up) points, why not, build a (pick up) point. Wherever it is, workers should go there. Then, keep the time, by 9 o'clock they shouldn't be here, they should go to the (pick up) point to take their buses." 

Others like Vidhya suggests making Little India a "car-free" zone on weekends. 

"If it's car-free, people can walk easily, they do not need to rush to cross the road."

However, there are some who think closing the roads would pose problems. 

Mr Rajan, is a provision shopowner along Kerbau Road. 

"We sell vegetables, the unloading and loading is here. If they close the road, we cannot come in." 

Responding to the suggestions, MP Edwin Tong for Moulmein Kallang GRC - which includes Little India - agrees safety is a paramount concern. 

He says deploying traffic wardens to ensure that pedestrians do not walk on roads meant for cars could be one solution. 

"Serangoon Rd is a main road that connects the Rochor area, all the way through to the Upper Serangoon area. If you pedestrianise that road, it would cut off one of the main access areas for vehicles. That would cause congestion outside of Serangoon Road, which itself, is going to be a problem. We need to have a balance between traffic and crowd control in order to ensure that pedestrians have a place to meet and congregate, at the same time, not pose a danger to traffic." 

-By Lee Gim Siong and Valerie Koh

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