BENGALURU: The Panathur-Balagere Main Road has emerged as one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the city. Used as a short cut by vehicle users to commute from Whitefield, Varthur, Gunjur and Panathur to Outer Ring Road and vice versa, the traffic pile-up on this road is caused by two narrow spots along a 300-metre stretch.
At both these spots — the narrow railway underpass near Bellandur Road railway station, and the S-turn located 150m from it — only one heavy vehicle and a two-wheeler can pass through.
Four security personnel hired by the residents of an apartment complex, Shobha Collosus, and trained by traffic police, work in shifts from 8am to 8pm to clear the traffic. Traffic cops from Panathur police station come daily during the peak hours.
Madhan, a security staffer, said, “Only when all vehicles on one side are cleared, can vehicles from the other side pass through. Traffic has to be monitored every minute here.” Jitin Rajput, another security personnel, said water tankers pose a huge problem, as the drivers are reckless and refuse to stop even after being told to. “They race in from opposite directions and cause jams,” he said.
The situation has become much worse in the last three years, due to the mushrooming of apartments.K Neeraj, a resident, said if one does not use the shortcut, then 10km needs to be traversed along the ORR. Sheetal Kulkarni, a software engineer, said as long as the traffic is regulated, there is relief. “However, when there is no one manning the spot, a terrible deadlock often happens.”
What is the solution?
Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, South West Division, S T Siddalingappa, said, “The only way out is to widen the underpass below the railway track.” Asked about residents’ complaint that water tankers continue to flout the ban on their entry during peak hours, the ACP said, “We can only levy fines. They pay them and continue to drive. We do not have the power to seize such vehicles.”Many attempts to reach Panathur Corporator Pushpa Manjunath were unsuccessful.