Rain, work on arterial roads add to commuters’ woes
Police identify key stretches; collaborate with DULT to assess traffic flow The spate of heavy rain almost every evening has taken a toll on motorists, who have to battle long hours on key traffic corridors where various works have been taken up but are far from complete. Bannerghatta Road, Kanakapura Road, ITPL Road, and Mysore Road are the worst, say motorists, as simultaneous constructions have been taken up by various government agencies owing to which they have shrunk in size. This has led to creation of bottlenecks and potholes, damaged roads, dust, and disappearing pavements. Traffic police personnel too are dreading the onset of monsoon. “The condition of roads and pavements are pathetic on ITPL Road where metro construction is going on along with the GAIL project. More importantly, pollution levels are going up day by day owing to dust at the work site,” said Rajashekar D.S., former president of Citizens’ Action Forum. Echoing the views of motorists, he said citizens feel neglected by the lack of action on the part of civic and transport agencies. Uday, a software engineer, who uses ITPL Road daily to commute to and from work, said despite the ongoing metro work in the middle of the road, it has not been widened. “The absence of pavements adds to the problem. It takes around 45 minutes to cover barely 4.5 km from Tin Factory to Garudacharpalya. It’s not just office-goers but also students who suffer,” he said. Amid all this chaos, the Bangalore Traffic Police has asked DULT to assess traffic flow on important roads, junctions, and T-junctions and prepare prototypes of signalised and non-signalised junctions. “Kanakapura Road, Bannerghatta Road, Mysore Road, Old Madras Road are among the few important roads that the police have identified and are collaborating with DULT to prepare an action plan. Once the plan is ready, we will implement it as soon as possible,” said a police officer. A DULT official said they have selected traffic heavy corridors and were studying ways to improve speed of vehicles, resolve issues of parking, and traffic diversions. “We are also working on installing queue length measurement sensors along major roads, which will help us streamline signals across the city as per traffic density,” the official added. At Kanakapura Road in Basavangudi and Banashankari areas, white-topping work has slowed vehicle movement to a crawl. As motorists move towards Kanakapura, the four-lane road converges into two. “If there is a bus in front of you, there is no space to overtake. The road has become so narrow. “Once you are stuck here, especially in the rain, you cannot move easily as the nearby Bannerghatta Road is even worse,” said Hemanth, who commutes from Anjanapura every day. Keshav Kumar of Bangalore Residents’ Welfare and Civic Association, Jayanagar, alleged that the police and other authorities concerned do not work together to plan and prevent such problems. “Once the problem arises, they are on a damage control mode, which is futile,” he said. At Bannerghatta Road, motorists have to deal with the ongoing metro work on the Nagawara-Gottigere stretch, which is expected to be completed by 2023. “I don’t think it will be done by then as well, which means that people in this part of the city will have to suffer for four more years at least. This road has the worst traffic in the city,” said another motorist.