Errant bus parking a daily nuisance near South End

Errant bus parking a daily nuisance near South End

A private travel operator parks a long line of buses in the middle of an arterial road in Basavanagudi, putting pedestrians and motorists to extreme risk and inconvenience

Buses belonging to SRS Travels are parked wrongly on the main road for three to four hours, narrowing the space available for other vehicles to get by. DH Photos by Sudheesha K G and prarthan d r

A busy stretch near South End Circle is blocked every morning from 7.30 to 9.30 am, thanks to a long line of private buses being parked illegally on the road.

Private bus operator SRS Travels violates all rules by parking buses and cutting off traffic on the bustling Parvathamma Rajkumar Road. The buses take up precious space on half a km of thoroughfare from South End Circle, starting near the Rajkumar statue, and lining up all the way till Surana College.

The daily practice puts motorists, college students, auto drivers and pedestrians to extreme inconvenience, but the traffic police claim they have no knowledge of the nuisance.

The law-and-order police deputy commissioner’s office is just a stone’s throw from the SRS bus depot.  The buses take their own time turning left into the depot, which accommodates more than a 100 buses. And when they turn, they block the entire road.

People living in the area say they have complained to the traffic police, who just ignore their concerns. Kapilesh K R, chief manager of Vijaya Bank adjacent to the SRS bus depot, says the buses are parked on the road from 6.30 am to 9 am. “I have seen minor accidents because of the odd parking. The buses hinder smooth flow of traffic,” he says.

Ramaiah, who lives in Canara Bank Apartments nearby, says vehicles driving up from South End Circle find their visibility cut off by the buses. “And it is difficult for elderly people to cross the road,” he says.  Students of Surana College park their bikes on the left of the road, further narrowing down the space available for vehicles to head towards N R Colony, he explains.    

Owners of shops and restaurants say their business has dropped because customers find access difficult.  Anand, supervisor of south Indian restaurant Adyar Ananda Bhavan, puts the daily loss of business at Rs 40,000. “We see fights and accidents because of these parked buses. The parked vehicles make the road so narrow it is not possible for BMTC buses and cars to get by,” says Anand.

The buses are eventually driven into the depot and parked inside.

“We have never seen the traffic police questioning them or even attempting to clear the block,” says Anand.   

Harsha Narayana, a second PUC student of Surana College, says the buses are parked on the wrong side and make it difficult for students to get to college.

Auto drivers aren’t happy negotiating the stretch either. Raju N, who drives his auto in Basavanagudi and N R Colony, says, “The parked buses block the view of the road ahead. We don’t know what to do.”

Don’t know about it: Police
The traffic police claim they have no knowledge of the problem of buses blocking a main road. Sub-inspector Kappana of the Basavanagudi traffic police station told Metrolife, “We keep booking cases. I think they park on the road and wait till they find space to park inside the bus depot.” He said he would book cases against the bus operator for wrong parking.

Will assign someone to regulate buses, says MD
SRS Travels has 10 depots in the city, according to K T Rajashekar, managing director.
He told Metrolife he wasn’t aware of SRS buses blocking traffic near South End Circle. “I don’t know why they park outside but I will look into it immediately and assign someone to manage the vehicles and ensure they don’t park on the road,” he said.

Company established in Bengaluru in 1971
Bengaluru-based SRS Travels was set up in 1971, and operates a fleet of about 5,000 vehicles. It runs offices in 10 states. The company takes care of employee transportation for a host of IT companies in Bengaluru. It also offers tourist packages and runs overnight trips to destinations within and outside Karnataka. Buses returning from overnight trips end up being parked on a road near South End Circle.

It reduces road capacity
Dr Ashish Verma, associate professor, transportation systems engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), sheds light on the implications of wrong parking.

- How it affects mobility
Buses parked in this manner consume at least one lane space, thereby reducing the capacity of the road. Also, the parking manoeuvre blocks the flow of the traffic. This reduces the speed of vehicles and increases travel time.

- How it affects safety
These buses are large in size and drivers are unable to recognise the movement of two-wheelers and pedestrians. These categories are always at risk.

- Importance of ‘stopping side distance’
A driver should be able to detect any obstruction (moving vehicle or pedestrian). He should be able to detect obstructions in time to apply brakes or slow down