PRR, a good way to get the trucks out of our way: motorists

PRR, a good way to get the trucks out of our way: motorists

Truck drivers and other road-users talk about traffic, arterial road congestion and peripheral ring road

The promise of the Peripheral Ring Road has remained just that in over a decade. Finding no other way to get across, heavy vehicles now pass right through the city, triggering congestion on inner city roads. DH speaks to young motorists and truck drivers to ascertain their views on the PRR project and their daily experiences.

Noel Alben, 19, a student of PES Institute of Technology drives a car to his college from Bommasandra every day. He faces a lot of traffic at the NICE Road exit junction, where truck movement is high. “The service road entry to my college is where the traffic is most heavy. It takes about five minutes to pass through it early in the morning. But by 9 am, you might even be stuck there for half an hour,” says Noel.

Metro construction work, he says, has made the roads narrower. The Metro rail authorities have also blocked a few access roads, which, he says, causes a lot of traffic congestion. “The trucks enter the city limits and cause a lot of problems traffic-wise and the way they drive. For young drivers still getting used to the road, it is kind of a nightmare.”

Gautam Ambareesh, another engineering student, says, “ a significant amount of traffic is always there at the Devegowda circle. It starts as early as 8 in the morning. A lot of truck drivers can be seen at this junction.”

A full-time truck driver, Lingaraju travels across the State, particularly Hubli and Belagavi. Since traffic gets really hectic during morning and evening peak hours, he travels in the wee hours and late at night. “I was unaware of the Peripheral Ring Road project. It would be very convenient for the truck drivers if this plan was put into action,” he notes.

Sixty-year-old driver Hanumanthappa K N usually takes the NICE Road or the Outer Ring Road even though he has to pay the toll to avoid the traffic inside the city. He takes Yeshwanthpura Old Road to come inside the city to refill the goods. “Since the heavy vehicles are not allowed to enter the markets during the mornings, we come during the night,” he says.

Since the loading points are deep inside the city, drivers find it inconvenient to get their trucks inside. They have to wait until it gets dark and then enter the city. “A Peripheral Ring Road would be very helpful, but if the loading points are still inside the city, it would be of no use. The traffic would still be the same from our part as we’ll have to come inside the city at one point or another. There should be better ring roads exclusively for the heavy vehicles,” says Hanumanthappa. Thomas Mathew, a student of Christ University (Bannerghatta Road), travels daily by BMTC bus to his college from Electronics City. “Traffic is mainly seen on Hosur Road, Silk Board and Bommanahalli junctions. The congestion is caused mainly by buses and trucks. As a student, I spend most of the time in traffic which is physically and mentally draining.” He adds, “If the PRR project gets going, it would not benefit the truck drivers alone but also us.”

Another road-user, Dr Champa BV finds the idea of Peripheral Ring Road great. “But we don’t know how long it’ll take them to construct it. I travel through Bengaluru quite often and it would be really helpful if there was another way to just bypass the city to get to the other side,” she says.