Gowdanapalya, a case study

Gowdanapalya,  a case study

The location at the Gowdanapalya Junction near Prarthana School in Padmanabhanagar seemed serene, befitting the gentle morning breeze, but the presence of two traffic cops at 8 am hinted at the lull before the storm.

Soon after reaching there, constable Y Manjunatha made an intuitive beginning by masking his face with a scarf. Minutes later, hell broke loose with vehicles haphazardly rushing in from all three directions – Uttarahalli end, Padmanabhanagar end and Kumaraswamy Layout end. Suddenly, the police found themselves grappling in the muddle of traffic.

By 8.30 pm, Prarthana School children are all over the road and footpath to cross the road to attend the morning prayers. In the melee, the traffic takes a beating. The 20-ft-wide road minus footpath fails to bear the pressure.

Sample this: There were at least eight to 10 vans of Prarthana School itself ferrying hundreds of students. Add to these, the vans from Bangalore International Public School, Carmel School, SVM School, Clarence School, Jain Heritage, Lawrence School, Rajarajeshwari Medical College and Hospital, JSS Sahana, Samanvaya and Special Education Institution, Insight Academy, St Thomas English School, KR Education Institute and The Association for the Mentally Challenged and Carmel Children Home Education National Convent.

The BMTC buses contribute as much to the bedlam. There are two BMTC temporary bus stops – for the incoming as well as outgoing buses – at the same venue. Vehicles line up for at least 200 to 400 metres when the BMTC buses halt at these stops during peak hour. Garbage trucks, mini vans, cars, tractors, mini trucks carrying construction material, autorickshaws and motorbikes jostle for space.

In less than an hour between 8 am and 9 am, at least 300 to 400 vehicles including vans, trucks and buses pass through this narrow road.

Due to the chaotic traffic, people coming from Kumaraswamy Layout get stuck in long jams. The worst sufferer of this chaotic traffic is Kota Amarnath's family, which has a mansion exactly at the junction. Kruthi Kota, a software engineer, believes that the school at the corner of the narrow road is one of the important reasons behind the chock-a-block near her house.

Traffic constable Manjunatha said staying here without a mask is hazardous to health.

Kasi Vishwanath, who lives in close proximity to the road, believes that shifting the bus stop may minimise the problem to a great extent.

Another resident Vikram G Rao, a software engineer, is worried that the entire area has only residential apartments without any lung space.

Umesh Hegde, CEO of Prarthana School, said the school management is planning to shift the school to another location.

“We are working on it but the challenge is the availability of land. There are 2,500 students in our school and we need a building to accommodate them,” said Hegde. He said that the vehicles coming from Kumaraswamy Layout too cause a lot of traffic jam.

“There are many other factors too. Every day between 5.30 pm and 8 pm there is an unprecedented traffic jam. Our school has no role to play during that time,” he said.

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