Friday, September 30, 2005

City’s tryst with traffic-free roads

City’s tryst with traffic-free roads
Deccan Herald

Thanks to nearly 80,000 autorickshaws that remained off the road in support of the strike call on Thursday, Bangalore was reminiscent of the 70’s with the roads looking their actual size-devoid of chaos and pollution.

Bangalore roads witnessed better lane discipline and smooth traffic flow making many old timers of the City go nostalgic.

It was a rare sight to see the normally jampacked B V K Iyengar Road, K R Market and Kalasipalya main roads breathing free like never before. The luxury was however was short lived as autos hit the city roads after 6 pm and traffic was back to its pathetic state of affairs.

Earlier in the day, a handful of autos were found parked at the Majestic bus stand, railway station and the Bangalore Airport fighting the temptation to gain from the desperate passengers who were prepared to pay the extra bit.

However, this did not become a reason for taxis to fleece passengers, as BMTC had upgraded its services with 200 additional buses. While BMTC bus stand at Majestic was flooded with passengers, the buses were not overcrowded. Additional buses were also pressed into service at Bangalore Airport.

A senior citizen Sheshadri who was bound for Chennai said the heat of the protest had not caught up with him, thanks to the contingency measures by the BMTC. On the whole, not many were complaining about the protest. Effective police bundobust in every nook and corner of the City also came in for appreciation by citizens.

Most government offices were either closed or had a handful of staff working. Though the General Post Office wore a deserted look with minimal staff, Speed Post, register post and parcel bookings were being accepted.

Dip in air traffic

Passenger traffic at Bangalore Airport dropped by 50 per cent following the strike.

While all the fights from Bangalore to Kolkata by both public and private sector domestic operators were cancelled, flights to other destinations were either merged or rescheduled, said Airport Authority of India sources. King Fisher Airlines cancelled nearly 25 per cent of its total domestic flights. Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Air Sahara and Jet Airways rescheduled many of their morning fights to Delhi and Mumbai, the sources said. The passenger traffic was only 50 per cent of the normal day average but air traffic continued to function normal throughout the day.

Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Bangalore Airport were handled by both the ATC officers of HAL and Indian Air Force, the sources added.


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