Thursday, March 25, 2010

Police at bay, snarl makes motorists fume

Police at bay, snarl makes motorists fume
Bangalore, Mar 24, DHNS

Some gnashed their teeth, some uttered unmentionables, others vented their spleen at each other and yet others made the traffic snarls in central Bangalore on Wednesday worse by trying to overtake and squirm their way through rows of immobile automobiles.

The three-hour-long jam was the outcome of BWSSB repair work in a small stretch between GPO and Minsk Square, throwing vehicular movement out of gear and causing immense hardship to commuters under a blazing sun.

The traffic chaos that followed was worse around Chinnaswamy stadium and as the minutes rolled into hours -- between 3 pm and 6 pm, which is peak traffic time anyway -- automobiles rolled into a grinding halt. Cars and other vehicles lined up behind each other in several rows at Balekundre Circle, Residency Road, St Mark's Road, Queen's Road, Minsk Square, Kasturba Road, Police Thimmaiah Circle, CTO, Coffee Board junction, Infantry Road and the High Court surroundings.

The few traffic constables stationed at these locations to manage the traffic were lost in the sea of vehicles, struggling to control the situation that the police complained was the result of the BWSSB’s day-time repair work.

BWSSB is believed to have failed to give advance notice to the traffic police that its men would be undertaking repair work on a water line in the area. What worsened the situation was a BWSSB truck that was parked right in the middle of the arterial road, causing motorists to jump lanes.

While the traffic constables tried directing the vehicles to take the Cubbon Park route so they could reach Vidhana Soudha after passing the High Court gates, a water tanker got stuck in front of the All India Radio complex. Even as the truck driver attributed the breakdown to a mechanical snag, the cops’ plight was underscored by the trying time they had clearing the serpentine lines of vehicles.

When all seemed to be thrown completely out of gear, a crane mysteriously trundled by to carry the broken truck away. That eased the situation for hundreds of vehicles to inch their way forward, bumper-to-bumper. Wednesday’s snarl prompted a police officer to say he dreaded the day when work on the Metro station would begin at Minsk Square.


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