Thursday, December 23, 2004

Another name for traffic jams and chaos

Another name for traffic jams and chaos
The Times of India

Bangalore: The sound ‘Hosur Road’ reminds one of perennial traffic jams, vehicles moving at a snail ’s pace for kilometres and accidents. But alongside this bu s y highway, some of the major IT and BPO firms, medical hospitals and industries are located.

Once upon a time, Bangaloreans preferred the around 25-km stretch from Madivala to Hosur for an easy evening drive. The dhabas frequented by youngsters were situated a few kilometres away from Madivala. Apart from the Electronic City and dabhas, some other industries were also located on the stretch. Traffic too was restricted to trucks and buses.

Today, the scene has changed completely. Perennial traffic jams make the journey arduous for more than 1 lakh IT professionals, BPO employees, among others, on their way to work in and around the Electronic City.

In the last few ye a r s, over 130 IT firms and eminent hospitals have mushroomed on the stretch. The development in terms of world-renowned IT, Biotech and BPO firms has brought problems too with it. The greenery of paddy fields, mango groves and vineyards alongside the stretch have made way for some concrete structures. The service road packed with restaurants, dhabas, garment factory outlets and automobile showrooms apart from innumerable petty shops has almost become non-existent.

The Hosur Road is operating at saturation with the burgeoning traffic. The large number of trucks and buses plying on the stretch causes several accidents claiming many lives. With no arterial roads, a traffic pile up can sometimes last up to three hours. But police say the number of cars and motorcycles plying on the stretch continues to increase.

“The four-lane road was a happy riding stretch when it came up several years ago. But now, it’s the nightmare of motorists. Many keep away from it. Since our offices are located here, we feel we’re the victims of poor planning,’’ says Ajay S., a BPO employee.

Despite the heavy traffic and pedestrian movement, the road is poorly lit. Haphazard breaks in medians, pedestrians darting across the road and stray cattle have added to the chaos. Lack of infrastructure and dismal regulation has led to several traffic violations and fatal accidents.

The area, which was largely being restricted to industries, is now being occupied for residential purposes too. Employees working in firms in and around the Electronic City are buying property near their workplaces to avoid the mad rush and spending hours on road.

Wipro, Central Silk Board, Electronic City, Sasken, Biocon, Infosys, Narayana Hrudayalaya.


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