Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Hindu : Front Page : Bangalore gridlocks getting worse day by day

The Hindu : Front Page : Bangalore gridlocks getting worse day by day

Bangalore gridlocks getting worse day by day

M.T. Shiva Kumar and Deepika Arwind
Police blame infrastructure works for choking more than half our roads

LONG WAY TO GO: Traffic officials say the city will have to grin and bear it for the next two years till the ongoing works are completed.
Bangalore: The ongoing work on infrastructure projects is creating gridlocks in various parts of Bangalore city and road users more often than not end up in traffic snarls every day.

As the work on Namma Metro, flyovers, underpasses, elevated highways and other civic works picks up pace ahead of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) polls, traffic bottlenecks have become commonplace across the city.

Motorists, especially office-goers, find themselves stuck in Vijaynagar, Nagarabavi, Magadi Road, Peenya, Sunkadakatte, Old Madras Road, Domlur, Old Airport Road, Yeshwanthpur, Sumanahalli, Ibbalur, Kadirenahalli, Tumkur Road, BTM Layout and other areas.

Most traffic officials say that the city will have to grin and bear it for the next two years till the ongoing works are completed. At some places, especially on Mysore Road, Tumkur Road, Old Madras Road and Hosur Road, traffic clogs up at least 25 times a day, said a senior police official.

However, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Pravin Sood prefers to describe what is happening in another way. “There are no traffic jams in the city. But the speed has been reduced due to various development works,” he said.

“With about 1,000 new vehicles rolling out on our roads every day to the estimated 40 lakh plying on the choked roads, this is an unprecedented situation,” he told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Apart from construction of flyovers and roads, major works by Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company also contribute to the traffic congestion.

The city will get a major facelift in the next two years after the infrastructure works are completed. When Namma Metro rolls out in December 2010, gridlocks hopefully will be a thing of the past, said an optimistic Mr. Sood.

His colleague Panduranga H. Rane, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic West), also took a similar stance, attributing the gridlocks to infrastructure works. “Bangaloreans will have to wait for over two years,” he said. The development works are a boon as no other city is growing at this pace even though 50 to 60 per cent of the roads have been affected due to this.

Motorists, who have to pass through the Ulsoor Gurudwara junction, appear to be some of the worst hit in the traffic scenario in the city. Making one’s way past the signal, particularly, during peak hours, is turning out to be a nightmare with vehicles coming from Swami Vivekananda Road and M.G. Road meeting those on Old Madras Road head on.

But as the road is narrow, there is an inevitable delay of at least 20 minutes during peak hours. It gets worse when there is no one to man the traffic. Says Amarjeet Singh, a regular on this route: “Ever since this became a two-way, there is more chaos. Using this road before 9 a.m. is difficult,” he says.

Pedestrian hazards
This junction is a problem for pedestrians or cyclists who dare not venture during peak hours. Those who come out of the small service lane in front of the gurudwara have to wait interminably before they can cross the road. They include students and teachers coming from Gangadhar Chetty Road.

No comments: