The volume of traffic generated by the IT firms is large, says ACP
BANGALORE: The harried, overstressed traffic constable stood completely clueless. He had no choice, because there, under the K.R. Puram Railway Bridge, where vehicles light and heavy crawled and railway passengers from the station nearby struggled to cross the road, absolute chaos reigned. It was Old Madras Road traffic at its peak.
If Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic-East) M.B. Mallikarjun Swamy threw up his hands in exasperation, he had a reason to be upset with the infrastructure: the road “minus all safety standards,” as he put it, had emerged as a string of traffic bottlenecks.
With an “improperly planned” bridge, a railway underbridge in Bennigenahalli that just could not accommodate two-lane traffic and a bridge underpass clogged by a badly placed parking lot, the police simply had no solution.
“When the bridge was planned, they obviously did not take the growth of the information technology (IT) industry into consideration. The volume of traffic generated by the IT firms is large. Besides, people going towards Mahadevapura from Hoskote and K.R. Puram should go all the way up to Pai Layout Junction, take a “U” turn and return. All that adds to the traffic,” Mr. Swamy was now getting down to basics.
He had also seen the traffic get murkier with residents of Vijinapura and Ramamurthynagar taking their vehicles all the way up to New Moonlight Junction to head towards the city.
The police had requested the Railways to clear the road near the bridge underpass. Subsequently, it was widened.
But, a portion of that road was fenced to accommodate a parking lot for autorickshaws and two-wheelers.
“Now it has become another bottleneck,” he said. He, however, had a solution: the Railways could demolish some old, dilapidated quarters close to the road and ensure smooth traffic flow.
With no skybridge or a pedestrian subway, elders and children often struggle to cross the road.
But there was a bigger flaw: that of allowing Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses to halt right at the mouth of the bridge.
“It is a miracle sometimes when the pedestrians manage to cross the road. Even the pedestrian underpass below the bridge is badly planned. People have to cross the two carriageways to cross the subway. Vehicles move at high speeds on the two side roads,” he said.
The commercial establishments and shopping complexes along the road have only added to the traffic problem.
“The licensing authorities do not consult us before giving permission. Road users blame us. But are we responsible for this mess?” he wondered.