Thursday, July 30, 2009

Boards down, traffic hit

Boards down, traffic hit

July 30th, 2009
By Our Correspondent

Bengaluru, July 29: A special drive by BBMP on Wednesday to clear hoardings and hawkers paralysed traffic in the central business district area of the city for more than two hours.
The drive was carried out during peak hour leaving motorists confused and angry. Huge hoardings were pulled down on Brigade Road blocking the area, causing bumper-to-bumper traffic till the Coffee Board junction and Ulsoor Circle on the other side.
“There were traffic jams on MG Road, Brigade Road, Kamaraj Road junction and surrounding areas soon
after BBMP personnel started removing the hoardings,” a traffic police personnel said.
BBMP commissioner B.L. Meena told Deccan Chronicle, “This is a special drive that will go on for a while. We will undertake the drive at night too and special batches of BBMP officials are being deployed for the same,” added Mr Meena.
“The traffic police was primarily informed about the drive and they coordinated with us,” said Mr Meena.
But the city traffic police said BBMP started the operation without informing them.
“BBMP officials started their operation without informing us. In addition to personnel, lorries and other BBMP vehicles blocked the road affecting traffic,” the officer said.
“If we were informed earlier, traffic could have been diverted to MG Road and surrounding areas. We have more traffic flow from the north of the city, especially from the Bengaluru International Airport. The six-lane road ends at Infantry Road ending in a complete bottleneck,” said ACP (Central traffic) A. Nagappa.
Many shop owners were upset as they were not informed earlier about the operation.
“When we questioned the officials, we were told that the notification was published in some newspapers,” said Rashid Farooq, manager, American Corner.
Basha (name changed), who owns a luggage shop, said he was asked to pay a fine along with a renewal fee if he wanted the hoardings back.
“I have spent more than Rs 20,000 on the hoardings. The way they are being handled, they will be completely damaged,” he said.
Suhail Yusuf, secretary, Brigade road Shop Owners and Establishment Association (BSEA), welcomed the BBMP move saying: “Justice has been done to shop owners.”
But by evening many hawkers were back to business.
“It is common. Luckily, they came in the morning, much earlier than us,” said Usman Paasha, seller of leather materials.

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