Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Citizens take traffic by its 'horns'

Citizens take traffic by its 'horns'

Work on devarabeesanahalli and bellandur flyovers on outer ring road derail vehicular movement

MK Madhusoodan. Bangalore



There are times when it pays to take matters into your own hands. At least, that is what the Outer Ring Road Companies' Association (ORRCA), which comprises many corporate groups and multinational firms, seems to believe. In what is arguably the first such instance in the city, the members of the ORRCA have taken it upon themselves to manage traffic flow, issuing instructions to members to desist from parking in certain areas to leave space for vehicles to flow freely. The move was necessitated after work on two flyovers threw traffic out of gear in the stretch between Hebbal and Sarjapur Road on the Outer Ring Road.
Many of the corporate groups that are members of the ORRCA have offices on the high-speed stretch connecting Hebbal to Sarjapur Road. There are two flyovers under construction here. One of these leads to Devarabeesanahalli and the other to Bellandur; both of these, 315 metres long and 12 metres wide, will have corridors dedicated to buses. The flyovers were undertaken with the aim of making bus travel more popular and speedier, as these are also planned as signal-free stretches.
The foundation stone for these signal-free projects was laid by chief minister BS Yeddyurappa in June 2009. Since construction began, however, many of those who regularly ply here have been seeing red. Both at Devarabeesanahalli Junction and at Bellandur Junction traffic slips to a crawl. Vehicles pile up.
ORRCA general secretary S Vishwanath said that the Association took up the initiative to help streamline traffic after civic authorities engaged a private contractor to work on the flyovers without so much as informing them. "Our problems were ignored. We were forced to seek solutions. At any given time, the rush on these roads is palpable. There are lakhs of regular users. Vehicles ply beyond, travelling long distances towards Koramangala, Whitefield, ITPL and other places," Vishwanath said. "There are 22 companies in the ORRCA; members of these firms alone account for nearly 50,000 vehicles every day," Vishwanath added.
ORRCA members made several attempts to meet BDA officials, to no avail. The problem was acute, as many of the offices located in the area also maintain strict adherence to working hours. "A delay was bound to cause rising instances of road rage, given the nature of the offices located in the area. To prevent an aggravation of the traffic congestion problem, we told those who drove their cars to work to desist from parking on the service roads that were being used by large numbers of vehicles, since the main roads were choked after the commencement of the work on the flyovers," Vishwanath said.

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