BANGALORE: With one end of the 2.5 kms elevated flyover at Sirsi Circle going in for repairs on Friday, the traffic diversions announced by the Traffic police did not help the situation. With over 30,000 vehicles using this flyover every hour, more than half the drivers were not even aware of the construction work undertaken by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on this stretch. Even as the traffic police department appointed extra personnel on the down ramp that leads to Chamarajapet, confusion was rife among two-wheeler drivers that were heading towards Vijayanagar and Kengeri.
“We did not even know about the repair work. There were no boards put up prior to commencement of the work. If we had known earlier, we would have taken an alternative route. But now it is a huge mess here,” said Harish Reddy, an engineering firm employee.
Starting from 10 am, the traffic woes doubled on this stretch and with the peak traffic hours starting early for the Mysore Road (Sirsi Circle) flyover, slow moving traffic became a common sight throughout the day. “Traffic jams are synonymous with this flyover, but today it has just turned worse. We have been stuck here for over 30 minutes and the traffic is still not clearing. We were just told that there is some repair work going on, but we do not know how long that will last,” said Kareem Khan, a van driver.
Around 3,000 auto-drivers plying on this area have decided to stick to K R Market route instead of taking the overcrowded flyover. “The problem of traffic is bound to increase. Neither the Palike nor the traffic police informed us earlier,” said Manjunath Shetty, an auto driver.
To avoid the increasing traffic jams, many four-wheelers have decided to take alternative routes to reach Kengeri.
Meanwhile, the worst affected are the shopkeepers on the stretch lying below the flyover. While the area has witnessed construction work since the inception of this flyover in 1999-2000, be it BWSSB work or even the Palike’s construction work on the footpaths, their worries have just doubled now.
There are about 300 shops on each side of the stretch and they reckon that now they would just have to shut shops and take a summer vacation. “When we spoke to the contractors and engineers, they told us that they would be working only during the night time, so as to not cause us inconvenience. But this will stop people from coming to our shops and we are now wondering if we should just shut down for three months instead of facing losses,” said Mani, a mechanic operating here.
The BMTC that has over 200 buses plying on this area every two hours is planning to study the movement of traffic and then re-route or divert their buses. “We are first going to examine the issue and then see if our buses are finding it difficult to ply on the flyover. If so, then we’ll have a re-look,” said Prabhu Das, Chief Traffic Manager (Operations), BMTC.