Cops reject demand, say no autos on MG Road

On-going metro work on Kamraj Road in Bengaluru on Tuesday due to which traffic movement on the road is blocked. | DH Photo: Pushkar V

The traffic police have rejected demands for allowing auto-rickshaws on a stretch of MG Road to reduce the traffic congestion resulting out of the partial closure of Kamaraj Road. 

Kamaraj Road has been closed for vehicular movement from Cubbon Road Junction to Cauvery Emporium Junction to facilitate the construction of an underground metro station on the Gottigere-Nagavara line. Namma Metro authorities say the road would not reopen until for the next four years. 

The move has badly hit traffic in the central business district, especially on MG Road, Brigade Road and Cubbon Road. Motorists from Kamaraj Road and Cubbon Road have to take a long diversion through the Manipal Centre Junction to reach MG Road. 

In order to reduce traffic congestion, there is a demand for allowing auto-rickshaws between Anil Kumble Circle and Cauvery Emporium Junction. Both auto-rickshaw drivers and commuters feel the age-old policy must be changed to lighten travellers’ burden. 

Mohammed Ashfaq, an auto-rickshaw driver, said the closure of Kamaraj Road had hit his business hard. “We used to drive from Anil Kumble Circle to Cubbon Road and turn right towards Kamaraj Road to reach MG Road or Brigade Road. But now that Kamaraj Road is closed, we have to drive through the Manipal Centre Junction and MG Road via Mayo Hall to reach Brigade Road. Another route is through Vittal Mallya Road and Residency Road,” he said. “This is so painful. It increases both the time and the fare. Commuters are not happy. We are seeing a decline in our business,” he said. 

Pratheek Ranjan, a regular commuter, called for allowing auto-rickshaws all along MG Road. “Since they have blocked Kamaraj Road, they must change the current policies, too. Commuters should not pay for the long closure of this road,” he said. 

M Manjunath, president, Adarsha Auto and Taxi Drivers Union, lamented that the authorities failed to make proper traffic arrangements for the metro construction. “Auto fares to MG Road and Brigade Road are going up. We are not asking for parking space. Police should just let us drive all along MG Road. That will save both time and money,” he said. 

But K V Jagadeesh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic, East), argued that allowing autos on MG Road would only increase the traffic congestion. “Traffic on MG Road will be difficult to manage as auto-rickshaws will block the way of other vehicles,” he said. “We all have to put up with this inconvenience for a few years.”

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