Caught in traffic? Blame white-topping, say police

Commuters use a section of the road as white-topping work goes on at CV Raman Road on Saturday. DH Photo/Pushkar V

While kicked up dust and prolonged traffic snarls test the patience of motorists, white-topping work advancing at a snail’s pace across Bengaluru is exacerbating the traffic chaos, especially during the peak hours.

With mud and debris strewn all around, roads are dangerous making it tough for the police to man traffic. The scenario has further worsened in the last few days with the reopening of schools and colleges coupled with frequent thundershowers.

As more and more school vans, autorickshaws and buses are added, half-done white-topped stretches are a major reason for the burgeoning traffic congestion on several arterial roads. The same was echoed during a coordination meeting of the Bangalore Traffic Police, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) last week.

Traffic personnel rued they are at the receiving end whenever the situation turns chaotic. “With one side of the road either shut completely or half-done for white-topping, how can we ensure smooth traffic? Just because we are at the spot, we are blamed,” bemoaned a Bengaluru South traffic official. Many complaints poured in from Mysore Road region, RV Road, Kanakapura Road in Jayanagar and Hennur Main Road.

“During the meeting, it was brought to our notice that several crucial junctions undergoing white-topping have not been restored to original condition. We have directed the BBMP engineers to ensure that such junctions are cleared of all the debris and are open for traffic,” a senior BTP officer said. 

The traffic police exerted pressure on the BBMP to ensure that the half-done white-topping of roads is completed at the earliest. “With the reopening of schools, the traffic has doubled. Hour-long traffic snarls are frequent. To relieve motorists, we have now requested the BBMP to allow movement of vehicles on service roads,” the officer added.

After a flood of complaints on white-topping, P Harishekaran, additional commissioner of police (traffic), directed the officials to identify the stretches where white-topping is half-done and submit a detailed report along with photographs.

Acknowledging that the white-topping have contributed to traffic congestion in several parts of the city, K T Nagaraj, chief engineer (project central), BBMP, told DH that the civic body will try its best to complete the work sooner.

“All works are previously approved by the traffic police. We have not taken up any new work. Due to rains and other technical reasons work was in a slow pace. But it has gained momentum now and will be completed soon,” he said. 

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