Thursday, July 23, 2009

Motorists had a horrendous time

23rd, 2009
By Our Correspondent

Bengaluru, July 22: A huge rally in the heart of Bengaluru on Wednesday once again trashed the police assurance that it will not allow large protests to disrupt traffic in the city.
Motorists had a horrendous time in the central business district Wednesday morning, with a protest march activists of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (DSS) bringing traffic to a standstill at many junctions. Around 200 traffic cops from the east division were deployed to control vehicles heading to the area after it became clear that the protest march by around 3,000 DSS activists, that began from Jakkarayanakere around noon, would create chaos in the busiest part of the city.
After causing hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic and traffic snarls, the march ended at Bannappa Park, but the traffic police claimed that there were no jams and the rally only slowed vehicular movement.
“We were informed about the protest march and traffic policemen were deployed along the entire route. Vehicles had to be diverted in some areas including Seshadripuram and Guttalli,” said High Grounds traffic inspector L.V. Tejaswi.
DCP (traffic-east) B.A. Muthanna said traffic was affected in some places by the rally. “The protesters did not block the roads, but they caused several hold-ups that severely affected movement of vehicles,” he said.
Traffic had to be routed to roads parallel to those taken by the protesters, but vehicles came to a standstill near Nataraj theatre in Sheshadripuram. “A few vehicles were stuck on the road near Swastik Circle, leading to a jam,” a police officer said.
Senior police officials said the DSS had obtained permission from the police department for their protest march. “The permission was granted by additional commissioner of police (law and order) M.R. Poojar,” a police officer said.
Additional commissioner of police (traffic and security) Praveen Sood said the cops had done their best to minimise inconvenience to the public. “It was a procession. The traffic naturally slowed down. Narrow roads made matters worse,” he said.
When Deccan Chronicle asked a senior police officer why permission had been granted for the procession, he said, “It is a fact that Benagaluru faces traffic jams even when there is a small event held in the city. The police cannot always refuse permission for processions.”
He went on to claim that, “In this case, the protesters did not block the roads.”

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