'Lack of tailored traffic policy taking city to crisis'

'Lack of tailored traffic policy taking city to crisis'

Traffic is frequently paralysed near Mehkri Road due to weddings at the Palace Grounds. DH FILE PHOTO

Growth without a plan has led to chaos, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) P Harishekaran said, giving the example of 2,000 marriage halls in the city without adequate traffic facility.

Speaking as a guest at the 30th Road Safety Week programme, he said lack of a comprehensive policy to govern traffic conditions in Bengaluru is taking the city towards a major crisis.

"On the West of Chord Road alone, there are six marriage halls, each drawing 250 vehicles parked on the road. On the other hand, vehicle population has far surpassed the carrying capacity of the roads, which has led to the problem of spillover," he said, describing the problem of two-wheelers climbing the footpaths in the peak hours.

Emphasising the need for better public transport, he said Bengaluru needs 44,200 bus bays to improve vehicle flow on roads. "Institutional and evidence-based studies are required to understand traffic flow and area-specific problems," he said.

Transport Minister D C Thammanna said life in Bengaluru has become difficult due to air pollution. But people are still stuck to the idea of owning vehicles.

"The number of cars in every household is going up with each family member seeking to own a vehicle though they don't have parking space. If we bring a rule to regulate ownership, we are likely to face opposition from the citizens. Instead, we are planning awareness campaigns at ward level," he said.

The minister said it was not right to blame bad roads alone for accidents as many accidents were taking place due to overspeeding and negligence.

Many accidents are happening on newly laid good roads. This shows that road users are equally responsible as the government in ensuring safety, he said.

Transport Depart Principal Secretary B Basavaraju said the Supreme Court committee on road safety had set a target of bringing down road accidents by 10% every year.

"Two government policies on united metropolitan transport authority and road safety authority will bring coordination between different departments for the better administration of the issues," he added.