Thursday, September 02, 2010

Bear with us, the rains may just spoil your drive

Bear with us, the rains may just spoil your drive

Additional commissioner of police, traffic, Praveen Sood, requests that people be patient and cooperate with traffic policemen, as some things are beyond control. He was speaking to Aparajita Ray
Why do rains pose such a big problem for traffic movement?
Water logging due to potholes or clogged sewerage lines pose a big challenge to the smooth flow of traffic on city roads. There are about 40 points across the city where the water logging level increases to such an extent that we have to close off those roads for vehicles. Near Kino Theatre, Apollo Hospital on Bannerghatta Road, and parts of Rajajinagar and Malleswaram, water logging after the rain is so bad that vehicular flow is disrupted. Our role as traffic policemen is to inform the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike about water logging and keep traffic flowing, with the safety of people in mind. Most of the time, people come to the rescue, removing a stone, or clearing some stretches of blockade. The BBMP too rushes personnel to spots where there is trouble. These are, of course, only short-term remedies, and long-term ones will have to wait until the end of the monsoon. If a tree or an electric pole falls, safety of people using that stretch of road is what is uppermost on our minds. Sometimes, to ensure that people are not exposed to risk, we have to stop the flow of traffic.
Why is it that potholes never seem to be filled up? Now that the BBMP has stepped back from road widening, there is unfinished work on many roads.
You must understand that the BBMP's road widening project has little to do with us. Discussions of the matter have happened, but the traffic department has no business discussing the matter in public. Yes, traffic movement is delayed because of unfinished projects. We are talking to the BBMP separately.
About potholes, again, our hands are tied. When potholes get water-logged, the situation is aggravated, especially if the road is also one that sees heavy traffic movement. Vehicles get stuck in potholes, and on a day when it rains and there are at least five buses that get stuck. All this slows traffic. We are as much victims as commuters, when the infrastructure crumbles in the rains.
Metro construction too has posed a traffic problem.
Carriage width is reduced to half in some areas, which are only about 50 km away from main roads. When four-lane traffic is forced into two lanes, and even these lanes are not in good condition, traffic flow is affected. The roads that we have now are not made for such heavy vehicular motion. Until the work finishes, we have asked workers at construction sites to keep us informed if they face any problem. They have been doing so.

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