Anil Kumar Sastry
`Supply of essential commodities to the city will be affected'
BANGALORE: While the Police Commissioner had banned movement of trucks on Mysore Road between Kimco Junction and the City Market from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in 2005, the traffic police are hesitant to enforce the ban. Trucks ply on the stretch throwing traffic out of gear.
Asked about this, a senior traffic police officer said, "Traders and supply of essential commodities will be affected if we enforce the ban." But similar restrictions on movement of trucks in the rest of the city (within ring roads) are enforced.
The notification banning truck movement was issued on May 23, 2005, stating that operation of trucks on Mysore Road had been affecting the smooth movement of traffic. The ban was being ordered in public interest, the Commissioner said and ordered the ban between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Scientific traffic management has been given a goby despite a steep increase in traffic on Mysore Road. The traffic police have not even conducted a survey to collect the vehicle data on this stretch.
Although the stretch does not have any major traffic island or signal, it takes half an hour for anyone to travel the distance of 3 km even during off-peak hours.
Trucks take U-turn or enter Mysore Road from by-lanes, causing a pile-up on either side. Unregulated and haphazard movement of trucks has supplemented the accident rate on Mysore Road with 78 people being killed in 2006. Although the traffic volume is less on Mysore Road when compared to Hosur Road, Tumkur Road or Old Madras Road, it matches these busy roads in fatality rate.
Transport agencies, traders and industries located in and around the City Market, Chickpet and Chamarajapet appear to have lobbied against the enforcement of the ban. Apart from moving at their will on Mysore Road, trucks even move on the Sirsi Circle flyover that was meant for smooth movement of general traffic, even during the day, including peak hours, causing chaos.
President of Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners' and Agents' Association G.R. Shanmugappa told The Hindu that they recently urged the Police Commissioner to restrict truck movement three hours each during morning and evening.
"A blanket ban during the day will severely affect traders, industries and general public as many essential commodities have to be moved in and out of the city," he said.