Roads waterlogged, commuters stranded and lost

Roads waterlogged, commuters stranded and lost

Roads waterlogged, commuters stranded and lost

Nothing could be more troublesome than getting caught as a motorist or commuter on Bengaluru roads when it rains. Affordable autorickshaw rides and app-based taxis vanish. So does public transport. Even if somehow you find a means of transport, the inevitable rain-triggered traffic jam lurks just round the corner.

Due to poor drainage, several city roads get flooded quickly. Riding a two-wheeler or driving a car gets extremely tricky, as potholes lurk under the sheets of water. On ITPL Road, Silk Board junction, Hebbal flyover, KR Puram and other areas where congestion is the norm, rain spells hell.

Shravan, a private firm employee, who commutes from Koramangala to Jayanagar and back every day, has experienced the problem several times. He says, “I need at least one and a half hour to reach my office, which is very hectic. Once it starts raining, traffic jams are a certainty due to waterlogging on the roads.”

Commuting gets extremely tough when it rains during office peak-hours. “People park their cars and two-wheelers right on the road to get away from flooded roads and look for shelter. This makes it even worse. Vehicles are stuck in jams that can be a kilometre long or more,” says Shravan.

In the words of Shahari, a resident of Ramamurthy Nagar who travels 30 kilometres one way daily, “In the city, there is always a traffic gridlock lurking somewhere. And when it rains, the entire system gets completely messy. Even if we are traveling only a short distance, we are never sure of the exact time we would reach due to the unpredictable nature of the city’s traffic.”

Autorickshaw and taxi drivers refuse to ply on the flooded roads. They point to the sewage overflowing on the roads, particularly in areas such as Okalipuram, Mahadevapura,  JC Road and more. Underpasses are waterlogged, service roads are blocked and the traffic police struggle to stem the flow of cross-traffic.

Among those who have endured the nightmare on several occasions is Yatish, an engineer. He travels 15 km from home to office daily. He explains, “The traffic in Bengaluru is not what it was a few years ago. What would take only a few minutes from my home takes hours now. I always leave home an hour earlier than what I used to before, but still find it difficult to reach the destination in time. Rain makes it totally unpredictable.”

This rainy season has not been different. A pedestrian, Sangeetha was stranded near Infantry Road in Shivajinagar. She tried hiring an autorickshaw to go to a mall near Mayo Hall, not more than two km away. But the driver demanded Rs 100. “He would not reduce it, however much I tried to bargain. Since it was pouring and it was getting late, I had to shell out the money,” she recalls.

But before trying to stop an autorickshaw, she had attempted booking a cab through her Ola and Uber apps. None of the cabs showed up on the map. “It has always been like this when it rains. The drivers apparently switch off.”

Since BMTC buses get stuck in flooded roads and are unavailable, many commuters now want the Metro to operate additional services. Two weeks ago, due to heavy rush at the Majestic Metro station, a train was operated on the purple line even after 10 pm. Commuters feel this option should be made available even during rains. However, not everyone is sure how they will reach a Metro station if they are stranded one or two kilometres away.