Thursday, May 13, 2010

If you can, avoid this road

Dug up pavements, Metro work, unrelenting traffic make Mysore Road a nightmare
If you can, avoid this road
Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui, Bangalore, May 12, DH News Service:

Fifty-year-old Nage Gowda selling cigarettes near the Gopalan Mall on Mysore Road is on the edge whenever the volume of traffic increases near his petty shop.

The one-time mason started the shop after he could no longer toil to make a living. At times, however, he regrets the decision.

For, due to the heavy traffic, a daily phenomenon, several vehicles climb over the footpath endangering the lives of Gowda and many others.

"For me, it's become a daily nightmare. Irritated motorists often tower over the pavement risking our lives," Gowda said.

Gowda's case is just the tip of the iceberg of the widespread disgruntlement among the residents, shop owners, and motorists of Mysore Road.

No wonder, when Deccan Herald took stock of the traffic debacle on the stretch with the help of the citizens, everyone seemed to be agitated.

Nemathullah Hameedi, a resident, is very clear about what ails Mysore Road.

"First, the metro work was started around 10 months ago. Second, the roadside and footpaths have been dug up, chopped tree trunks have been piled up. Third, the BWSSB is laying pipelines. All these make the stretch a living hell for the commuters," he said.

Problem accentuated

According to Hameedi, several heavy vehicles passing through the stretch also aggravate the problem. According to him, frustrated drivers of autorickshaws and lorries caught in traffic jams often quarrel with each other.

Reaching the City Market from Nayandahalli should not take more than 15 minutes. But, during the peak hours from 9 am to noon and 5 pm to 9 pm, motorists' patience is stretched to the breaking point when they cover the distance in an hour, A Chandrasekharan, a resident of Rajarajeshwarinagar, said.

Ramanna, an auto driver from Kumaraswamy Layout, says, "Coming to the City is a nightmare during the morning peak hours whereas heading out of it is a challenge in the evening." According to Ramanna, even the flyover often gets congested.


Surendra, a shop owner near Kavika, gropes another reason for the congestion. "Last Monday, traffic was nearly blocked for four hours when a lorry turned turtle near BHEL Circle. Actually, even if a car gets stuck due to any technical reason, traffic comes to a standstill," he said.

The stretch has many problems to grapple with. Only hapless motorists knows what it takes to tolerate the regular influx of lorries into a saw mill in Hosa Guddadahalli. Moreover, these heavy vehicles occupy half of the space on one side of the road.
For Mohan B N, a traffic constable attached with Byatarayanapura police station, regulating the traffic on the road is a "hell of an affair."

Mohan reports for duty at 7 am daily. The first two hours pass off smoothly. But come 9 am, his anguish begins and lasts till noon. Later, at 5 pm, another round of frustration awaits him.

Disgusted with the traffic woes, Chandrasekharan has a solution in mind. He says traffic mismanagement is the root cause.

"Outstation buses should not be allowed to enter the City. They should depart from and arrive at the satellite bus stations only," he says.

DCP Traffic (West) Pandurang H Rane admits managing the situation is difficult.
"We are helpless. On one hand, the metro work is going on and on the other, the BWSSB is laying pipelines,” he told Deccan Herald.

Rane, however, hopes the problem will be solved once the metro work is over. Till then, avoid Mysore Road, is his advice.


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