Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Traffic goes haywire as trees are felled

Traffic goes haywire as trees are felled


Make-shift barricades stop cars to facilitate tree-cutting on Raj Bhavan Road/Vinod Karimatt.
Raghavendra RFirst Published : 07 Sep 2009 04:18:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 07 Sep 2009 08:02:36 AM IST
BANGALORE: Recently the Raj Bhavan Road at Minsk Square junction was blocked in order to cut trees over here for the Bangalore Metro. The BBMP’s Forest Cell, which executes the chopping of trees, is having to do so with no help from or coordination with the traffic police.
The scene at the Raj Bhavan Road was this: The contractor had himself blocked the road so as to ensure a smooth tree-cutting operation. The BBMP’s forest cell is doing this job on behalf of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and helping make way for the underground metro rail station.
Chopping trees on the main roads require a lot of logistic planning; like barricading the road, diverting vehicular traffic, and taking safety measures. However, in the absence of any help coming from the traffic police, the contractors are having to do this job without much planning.
A contractor under the condition of anonymity told Express that most of the times the traffic police doesn’t turn up or plan things in advance to facilitate cutting of trees. “We ourselves manage things by blocking the roads through barricading and regulating or diverting the traffic,” he added.
On Thursday night, the scene at Rajbhavan Road was the same. There was no sign of the traffic police for more than an hour. The labourers cutting the trees had blocked the road with the help of deserted barricades on the roadside and were regulating the ill-equipped traffic themselves created traffic chaos.
“Despite the BBMP having informed the traffic police beforehand, we do the work by ourselves without their assistance. If anything goes wrong, then we are held responsible,” informed the contractor.
BBMP Deputy Conservator of Forest (North) HA Hubart said that as and when the work on cutting trees is taken up on main roads, especially where there is high density of motor vehicles, the BBMP range officer concerned informs the traffic police for their assistance and co-ordination. “Usually trees are cut during the night hours between 11.30 pm and 3 am as there is less traffic and it is easier to clear the spot. If the process requires more time, then the range officer gives a letter to the police,” Hubart added.
However, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic & Security), Praveen Sood, said that permission was not required from traffic police while cutting trees for development works. “The civic agencies execute the work and take pre-cautionary measures while doing so,” he added.

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