Sunday, January 24, 2010

Expressway is not for lorries

Expressway is not for lorries

Buses, two-wheelers and cars are allowed to move, but heavy trucks and lorries will be restricted until tolls are imposed



Senthalir S and A Veeramani. Bangalore
Enthusiastic commuters drove on the 9.5 km elevated expressway on the second day. While buses, two-wheelers and cars were allowed, heavy trucks and lorries were restricted from taking the expressway. "We have restricted lorries from taking the elevated expressway till the tolls are introduced. Since it is free now, everyone will start driving through the expressway and it might lead to accidents. If we allow all the vehicles, no one will be taking the roads below. This will lead to chaos. Hence we have restricted lorries," said Praveen Sood, additional commissioner of police (traffic).
However, he added that once the toll is introduced everyone can drive through the elevated expressway. "This is a temporary measure. Once the toll is introduced, people will get used to it," said Sood.
When contacted, RK Gupta, project director, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), said that it was a decision taken by the traffic management. "Slowly, there will be transition," he said.
Unlike the first day, traffic movement was smooth on Saturday. While few auto rickshaw drivers got into verbal duels with the traffic police on not letting them use the expressway, other commuters enjoyed their ride. A traffic policeman said that the movement of vehicles was smooth and commuters did not experience any problems on Saturday. "The elevated expressway is really good. It would take us an hour from Bommanahalli to Electronic City. But now, we made it in only 15 minutes," said Chandra Shekar R, an IT professional.
But, few commuters were worried about the toll. "Everyone cannot afford to pay so much to drive. We commute everyday to Electronic City for work. They should not levy levy huge amount," said Rajesh Naidu, another IT professional.
However, there are a few companies located below the flyover in places such as in Konappana Agrahara, Kudligere, Singa Sandra, for whose employees the elevated highway is of no use. "Though we work in Electronic City, our bus has to pick up employees working in other offices of the same company situated below the flyover. So we can't make use of the flyover," said a techie working with HCL Technologies.
Akshata Deshpande, a senior software engineer, said: "The expressway does not cut down on the commute time. We have to face the traffic once we get down. The traffic congestion on Hosur road cannot be solved with one elevated flyover, which in turn creates a bottleneck."

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