Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rain, jam mar festive spirit

Rain, jam mar festive spirit
DH News Service, Bangalore:
The worst hit by traffic jams was KG Road, leading to the Kempe Gowda bus stand.

If Bangaloreans had planned a dream beginning to their Deepavali holidays, then they got it all wrong on Friday. A heavy downpour had the traffic in a virtual gridlock in and around the Majestic area — the epicentre of transport facilities. Those who braved this had packed buses and congested railway platforms waiting.

The worst hit by traffic jams was KG Road, leading to the Kempe Gowda bus stand. To add to the usual weekend rush, the three-day holiday meant the roads were much more congested. The traffic pile-up starting from Hudson Circle up to the bus stand began at about 8 pm. Several passengers were stuck in the jam till 11 pm, said the traffic police.

The Deepavali fever began at the City railway station on Friday morning. Every inch of space inside any departing train was up for grabs. The scramble is only expected to intensify in the next two days. The less said about the queues at the ticket counters and the parking lots, the better.

For once, many chose to land at the railway stations way ahead of the departure time of trains. The reason: countless people fell under the wait-listed category and had to find some space in the trains. The extra coaches attached to a few trains by the Bangalore Division helped only to some extent.

The undue delay in announcing special trains has definitely played havoc with the travel plans of many. “The special trains are generally announced two weeks in advance or in the worst-case scenario, at least a week in advance. Unfortunately, the special trains have been announced just two days before the festival. So, they are ending up defeating the purpose,” said a top railway official.

The KSRTC had introduced 700 additional buses but that was apparently not enough. Some buses headed for Mysore and TamilNadu were scheduled to start from terminals outside the busy Majestic stands.

The police had deployed additional traffic personnel to ensure smooth traffic flow, but their efforts went in vain. Congested road, introduction of additional buses, hundreds of passengers going to the City railway station, parking of vehicles in a haphazard manner, violation of traffic norms and, of course, lack of enough traffic police made situation chaotic, added the police.

The jam led to pressure on all roads and service roads in and around the Majestic area. The situation was similar at KR Market, Anand Rao Circle, Okalipuram and KR Circle.


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