Special Correspondent

The route was not half as bad, but one thinks twice if it is a short-haul flight

Bangalore: It is 9 a.m. at the International Tech Park Limited on a Tuesday morning. The pink tabebuia trees that line the avenues of this sprawling tech campus are in glorious bloom, and relieve the tedium of the morning peak hour traffic. My aim is to get to the Devanahalli International Airport to catch a 12 p.m. flight to Chennai. I must get in by 11 a.m., and have given myself two hours.

Past the glass and chrome façade of the Tata Consultancy Services offices, past the Sai Baba Hospital and we are on the Whitefield Road. It is a fairly clear stretch and we keep an average speed of 40 to 50 km. We make it to the Krishnarajapuram flyover in 20 minutes, a distance of eight kilometres. Here we enter our first traffic hold up — a seven minute standstill at the flyover amid a jam of lorries, buses, cars and autos. Emerging from this, we have a fairly straight run down the Outer Ring Road heading to the Hebbal flyover. At the Hennur junction, 15 km and 40 minutes from our starting point, we take a right.

The Hennur Road is a less frequented but also less busy road than the Outer Ring Road, I have been told, and want to check it out. The road is narrow and of uneven quality — very bad patches where the road is still under construction to silky, just-tarred stretches.

Past the Bible College and Preethi Sadan on the left, and a couple of kilometres on we turn left at the village of Kannur. Through the village of Kogilu, and a few kilometres further we hit the main Hebbal Road, some distance past Yelahanka. We are now 30 km from our starting point.

Six-lane highway

It is a dream run down the six-lane highway to Devanahalli. I arrive at the beginning of the trumpet flyover that will lead to the airport terminal at exactly 10.25 a.m.. My commute of 42 km has taken 1 hr and 25 minutes, we have passed five traffic signals, and here I am, half an hour early for my flight. Not as bad as I thought, but is this really worth the effort for a 40-minute flight to Chennai? The next time I’ll definitely take the train.