Breather in the jam

Breather in the jam

Road Woes


There was a point of time when almost everyone on Bangalore roads had just one mantra on their lips, “get us out of the jam”. Thankfully, of late, the traffic in the City has reduced to an extent.

Getting through areas like Devanahalli and the Mekhri Circle flyover, which used to take hours together even during non-peak hours, has now free-flowing traffic. Even a large part of Bannerghatta Road has become a lot less congested than it used to be earlier. “One cannot really point out and provide numbers on how much it has reduced since there is no one really sitting and counting the number of vehicles on the roads. But yes, the congestion that used to occur in the City has drastically reduced resulting in free flow of traffic,” says Praveen Sood, Additional Commissioner of Police. 

On a visit to the RTO office in Koramangala at 11am, one found hardly eight to ten people waiting either to get their vehicles sold or registered. “In the past three months, there has been a huge decrease in the number of people coming out here,” says one of the staff members.  Traffic Engineers Safety Trainers (TEST) Chairman M N Sreehari explained how the number of vehicles registering at the RTO have decreased considerably. “The trend now has come down to two-and-a-half lakh annually as compared to the 3.65 lakh last year. We had anticipated more growth but it has been observed that many IT companies have either stopped buying or have started selling their vehicles,” added
Sreehari.

A regular commuter by car, Anupama Gnanaken, a school teacher, says, “I once drove from Koramangala to Sanjay Nagar, which took us only 45 minutes. Considering how long it used to take earlier, it was quite a nice drive.”

There have been many reasons for this reduction. One of the major ones being, recession. “Companies facing the economic slowdown have rightly or wrongly taken up initiatives to travel in buses or car pool to cut costs on private vehicle transportation,” says Praveen. Another major factor that has contributed towards the ease of traffic is the completion and the finishing of various infrastructure projects like the elevation of roads on Hosur Road,  opening of the Yeshwantpur flyover and the soon to be completed Whitefield flyover.  “Most of the time, the reason for heavy traffic is due to the ongoing infrastructure construction work that takes place on the roads. But with more and more projects completing, one can expect even more ease in traffic,” he adds.

Silvester Phanbuh, a content specialist, strongly disagrees. “I feel the traffic is still bad. Try Sarjapur Road near Bellandur after 5.45 pm, or Koramangala to M G Road side in the evening, traffic is very bad and of course when it rains, it’s almost like the cars multiply and the roads become smaller,” he adds.

Interestingly, with lesser traffic on the roads, even the accidents have come down. Praveen explains how the number of accidents recorded till the month of March have been 172. “When compared to 2008 with 892 accidents, it brings a drop of 15 per cent,” he adds.

“These are not solutions to traffic woes, there are still problem areas. But they do supply a certain amount of public relief. Peak morning and evening hour traffic is still unavoidable,” clarifies Praveen.

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