BANGALORE: Monday morning blues have a whole new meaning in Namma Bangalore. But it’s intensity was amplified as the city saw traffic jams at almost every junction, some with reason and some unexplained on the first day of the week. The entire city drove bumper to bumper, as the it faced one of its worst ‘event less’ traffic jams yet. Even though peak hour traffic has a mind of its own, the time after 11 am is considered a ‘gateway’ to commute. But on Monday, this time slot seemed as congested as its peak hour predecessors. Almost every street in the Central Business District (CBD) and surrounding areas reported mile long jams, with either snail pace traffic or standstill traffic.
The one km stretch from the Goodsshed Road up to the Majestic Circle which hardly takes three to four minutes in normal time, took 45 minutes on Monday. Even the traffic cops were finding it difficult to man the traffic. “After being caught in the middle of traffic, I came to know that BWSSB has taken up repair works near Binny Mill, work which is supposed to take another 15-20 days to complete the work. So all the vehicles that were supposed to go on that road has been diverted to the Goodsshed Road only to add chaos. It’s indeed a bad beginning to the week”, opined Pradeep, an employee of a private firm. A few persons, who were supposed to catch trains at the Bangalore Railway Station, were seen getting down from the auto rickshaws and city buses and walking towards their destination with their bag and baggages blaming their bad luck. But many others, who committed the cardinal sin of taking their vehicles out, blamed their own decisions for either taking out their vehicles or taking these trapped roads.
The traffic jam spilled over to Dr Rajkumar road-Magadi road till Okalipuram junction. “On a normal day, the commute between Sujatha theatre junction till Okalipuram junction takes 10 minutes to reach. But today, it took 50 minutes to travel the same junction”, confirmed Tejaswini, HR personal in a private firm. The BMTC buses from Vijayanagar, Rajajinagar took diversions near Rajkumar road and passed through Bhashyam circle. From Chandra Layout to Majestic, vehicles hardly take 45 minutes. But on Monday, it took one and a half hour because of the omnipresent traffic jams.
The city needs some more LED boards and other state-of-the-art systems to alert the commuters about traffic jam, they opined. At present, there are only a few LED boards that too on only important roads and it was too risky to read while driving as it could cause accidents, they said.
But the traffic police claim that this could have been avoided if they had opted for traffic SMS alert which was been relaunched by the Bangalore Traffic Police recently. By subscribing this system, commuters can get SMS alert about traffic bottlenecks in part of the city. However, the disadvantage is that the drivers cannot call or SMS police control room while they were driving as it amounts to violation of traffic rules.The only option for the citizens is to get down from their vehicles, and to call the police control room from the nearest public PCO to report jams.
When City Exprsess contacted Upparpet and Chickpet police station to ascertain the cause of the jams, it was stated that major traffic was seen near Goodshed road, Binny Mill road and also near Shantala Silks and many of them forced to take diversions. The police maintained that the traffic jam may be because of the ‘Rathasapthami’ festival as thousands of devotees visiting various temples on this day.