No relief from traffic woes around Palace Grounds

The decision of the State Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms to permit the conduct of seven different types of programmes, including rallies of political parties, in the Palace Grounds has not gone down well with many in the police department.

The traffic police have expressed displeasure and termed the decision unscientific. They say the decision will have an adverse impact on the smooth flow of traffic in and around the Palace Grounds.

The Palace Grounds is spread over 450 acres with 16 stages and eight entrance gates. A few important densely-populated roads around it are Bellary Road, Jayamahal Road, CV Raman Road, New BEL Road, Sampige Road, Ramana Maharshi Road, BDA Junction, Sadashivanagar, Cauvery Junction, Mekhri Circle, Nandidurga Road, R T Nagar Main Road, MES Road and Thanisandra Road. These roads are always packed with vehicles.

Lakhs of people gather at the Grounds whenever political parties hold rallies. The High Court had pulled up the City police when lakhs of people were stranded on roads in and around the Grounds, due to a huge turnout during a JD(S) meet in November, 2008.

Traffic is adversely affected whenever political bigwigs organise their children’s weddings and during exhibition-cum-sale events. Considering the inconvenience to the public, the police wrote a letter to the chief secretary on May 4, 2012 and forwarded a copy to the Staff and Administrative Reforms Department.

However, the government turned a blind eye to the recommendation of the police department and prevented the conduct of only commercial events. The government has permitted weddings, birthdays, programmes related to forests and environment, religious events and the events of the State and the Central governments at the venue.

“The decision does not help the traffic situation in and around Palace Grounds. It goes out of control whenever parties organise big events. The decision will have no meaning, if such events are permitted,” says a senior traffic police officer of the East Division.

The officer said the number of fatal and non-fatal accidents reported are more in number during big events as drivers will try to overtake each other. Five persons were killed, while 12 were injured in accidents in and around the Palace Grounds during such events in 2006. Two people were killed and eight others were injured in 2007. Four persons were killed in 2008 and 10 were injured. In 2009, the number of people killed and injured were six and 11 respectively. Two were killed in 2010 and eight were injured. Four people were killed and six were injured in 2011, the officer said.

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