Zibi Jamal, mother of a child studying in Indus School, is worried about traffic jams in Whitefield. Her child returns home at 7 p.m. instead of 4.30 p.m. While the school provides a snack just before the children leave for home, they are stuck in massive traffic jams with no access to restrooms till they get home.
On Saturday, she was one of 250 people who participated in the“Truck Ban on SH35”, a peaceful procession on Varthur Kodi Road to protest against the increasing truck traffic in the area. Organised by Whitefield Rising, a citizens’ group, the protesters included schoolchildren and teachers from at least six schools in the Varthur-Whitefield-Sarjapur-Electronic City stretch.
Nooraine Fazal, Managing Trustee, Inventure Academy, said her school even changed its timings from 8.10 a.m. to 7.40 a.m. because of traffic.
The protestors demanded regulation of timings of trucks carrying non-essential goods through State Highway 35, which passes through Whitefield, between 10 am and 2 pm, as they choke the roads creating traffic jams that can last for up to four hours.
The trucks are using the road after the traffic police recently gave permission to enter the city during day time, instead of restricting them between 10 pm and 6 am.According to Nidhi Pratapneni, parent and spokesperson for protesters, trucks moved through Whitefield to skip highways and avoid paying toll.
She said the protesters are not demanding a ban on trucks carrying essential commodities. They want regulation of timings for movement of trucks carrying non-essential goods and ensure that they do not operate when school buses are on the roads. She said, “We are fine with trucks moving after those four hours.”