Container truck topples, traffic hit for four hours

Days after a lawyers’ protest threw traffic out of gear in the Central Business District for seven long hours, another traffic gridlock wrecked commute in the central parts of Bangalore for more than four hours on Monday, as a plywood-laden container truck fell on its side on Vittal Mallya Road near Rajaram Mohan Roy Circle.

The accident occurred at around 2:30 pm after the driver lost control over the truck while negotiating a steep curve, leaving thousands of motorists stranded and fuming on the adjoining Residency Road, St Mark’s Road, Police Thimmaiah Circle, Queen’s statue, Lavelle Road, Museum Road, Siddalingiah Circle and in and around the Sree Kanteerava Stadium till 6:30 pm. The impact swelled up to Ulsoor, police said.

Cubbon Park was chock-a-block with vehicles as restive drivers honked, screamed and created a ruckus.

Two-wheeler riders, in an attempt to wriggle out of the jam, rode their vehicles on footpaths, at times side-swiping cars and getting into arguments with their owners.

The chaos seemed unending despite traffic cops acting swiftly and managing to get three cranes to the accident spot to lift the truck. Since it was lunch hour, the traffic cops said, they could mitigate the intensity of the problem.

Cranes belonging to a Metro construction firm, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and a private company were pressed into service and the operation to remove the truck took nearly four hours. The clearing operation was delayed as the gear of one of the cranes jammed. When technicians realised it would be impossible to move the entire vehicle, they decided to dismantle the container and remove the truck chassis.

Finally, the chassis was separated and the container pushed aside, clearing the road for traffic movement around 6 pm.

How did the container truck enter the City, hoodwinking the traffic cops all along? That was the question that haunted most commuters and the clueless policemen.

The Ulsoor Gate traffic police confirmed that the container truck was moving from Whitefield to Timber Yard on Mysore Road. Around 2 am, the vehicle left Whitefield, and on reaching Tin Factory, it developed a technical snag.After repairs, driver Abdul Latif said he drove through the City and reached Vittal Mallya Road. Nazeer Khan, the helper, and Latif, escaped unhurt.

The police had not booked a case till late night against either the erring driver or the company that owned the truck.

Deccan Herald learnt that Saleem, the Additional Commissioner (Traffic and Security), was himself baffled as to how the container truck managed to travel so far into the City.
However, a senior officer said, “We are waiting for the green signal from our higher-ups to book a case (against the driver).”

Fortunately, the incident did not lead to any untoward incident. St Joseph’s Indian High School is close to the accident spot. Had the vehicle toppled minutes later, it would had an adverse effect as students would have passed through the stretch to catch buses, said passersby.

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