Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cracker of a jam in B’lore

Cracker of a jam in B’lore
Bangalore, Oct 16, DH News Service:

Heading out for a cracking weekend holiday, the Deepavali revellers had all roads leading to Majestic jammed. But this time, the vehicular flood on Hosur Road had a festive twist: The five kilometre-long jam — dubbed the City’s biggest this year by many — was triggered by cheap crackers just across the border near Attibele.


Hundreds of vehicles, stranded up and down the road, remained unmoved for hours. A motorist, Anand Murthy, summed up the ‘cracker jam’ in a tell-tale fashion as he explained: “People who left Hosur at 5.30 pm could hardly reach the Attibele arch by 7.30 pm. In my opinion, this is the biggest traffic jam of Bangalore this year.”

Besides the packed buses, there were cars, jeeps, two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws jostling for every inch of space on the road. While hundreds were on their way back to the City with crackers, much more were heading to Hosur to pack up the fireworks. After all, the rates were 50 to 60 per cent cheaper than Bangalore. The concession on taxes for crackers and flowers was also too attractive to ignore.

Residents along Hosur Road quipped the trend was an annual affair. Due to Hosur’s proximity to Bangalore, many people make a killing during Deepavali by setting up illegal shops or selling crackers at home.

But there were no surprises on the roads leading to the Kempegowda Bus Station. Like every festive season, the roads were chock-a-block with traffic. Bus stations were unusually crowded. Passengers thronged the KBS and Mysore Road satellite bus terminal, while the private bus stands were crowded well past midnight.

Railway stations in the City were also jam-packed on Friday with people from various states and different districts making a dash to their home towns to celebrate Deepavali with their family. To manage the rush, many trains had been attached with an additional coach, said Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore Division, Akhil Agrawal.

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