Processions worsen traffic chaos

Road Restrictions

Processions worsen traffic chaos

In reality, these processions pose a huge inconvenience to commuters, sometimes extending to thirty or forty people, and generally accompanied by musicians with dhols, they simply worsen the already heavy traffic conditions.

Organisers of large processions sometimes approach the traffic police for official permission, in which case some of the paths they plan to travel down are blocked off for regular traffic.

This was the situation in Shivajinagar on September 4 and in Jayanagar on September 5. A police officer who wished to remain anonymous explained, “We are in touch with the organisers of some of these processions, since they have to obtain permission for travelling down the roads. In case the group is particularly large, we impose certain traffic restrictions. The roads are blocked, barricades are imposed, and policemen are always stationed there to ensure that they remain closed.”

When asked about the inconvenience that this causes to commuters, he explained that there is nothing else that the police can do.

“We cannot ban these processions. When they obtain permission, consultations are held and it is decided whether restrictions should be imposed or not. It does cause some inconvenience, but when there is a huge congregation, we have to oblige their wishes,” he explained.

Metrolife spoke to a few commuters to understand their experiences in this regard.  It appears that those who travel by public transport are the worst hit. Susanto Sen, an MES graduate, commutes from Mathikere to Domlur every day and says that he often encounters such processions around this time of the year. “Just yesterday, I was standing near Sankey Tank for a good ten minutes, since a lot of people were bringing their idols there to immerse them,” he said.

However, Susanto believes that the traffic restriction is the best option that the traffic police have in front of them.

 “It’s their job to handle traffic, and they can’t very well prohibit such processions, since immersing idols is such an integral part of the festival. They’re doing the best they possibly can,” he said and added that since the areas around water bodies were generally the worst hit, he is planning to avoid the roads around Ulsoor Lake as much as possible for the next few days. Not everyone agrees with this view.

Ameel Selvan, an autorickshaw driver who resides in Sudhama Nagar, feels that the traffic conditions in the City have become unbearable as a result of these processions and diversions.  He claims that the situation is worst around MG Road and Ulsoor.

“Roads always get blocked because of these large processions. It has been worst in the last week or so. I believe that they should forbid buses and trucks from travelling on these roads, but I don’t see why they are blocked for small vehicles as well,” he complained.

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