BENGALURU: With hundreds of cars parked on either side of Ambedkar Veedhi, and vegetable and fruit vendors taking up the footpaths, pedestrians have nowhere to go.
The car park inside the City Civil Courts complex, behind Cauvery Bhavan, is not big enough, and advocates and litigants use the road next to it for parking.
Work on the Namma Metro is also under way, adding to the chaos. Vendors are increasing by the day, and the road is becoming a market. Shahin Taj, who runs a snack shop, said, “Since I am new here, older vendors are bullying me and trying to shoo me away”.
A shopkeeper, who didn’t want to be named, said business thrives on the footpath only because the police allow it after collecting hafta. “They harass us a lot ,’’ he said.
Ramesh, who dropped out of school a year ago, sells greens. “I don’t have any problem.... I stay here only for a few hours,” he said.
Earlier, some vendors used to sit on the footpath in front of the complex. After the Registrar complained, police moved them to the pavement on the other side of the road.
The parked cars and the vendors add to the woes of a city whose traffic is already slow (see box). The jams here sometimes result in slow traffic near KR Circle and on Kemegowda Road.
City speed 9 km per hour
Bengaluru roads carry loads three times greater than their capacity. In eight years, people will not even be able to bring their vehicles outside, a traffic expert warned.
According to Prof M N Sreehari, the speed within 5 km of the Vidhana Soudha is a mere 9 kmph during peak hours.
A normal person can walk at 10 km an hour. On the Outer Ring Road, traffic moves at 4.45 km per hour, he said. This was revealed in a recent study.
Sreehari said if the trend continues, the speed will come down to 2 kmph in eight years. Indian Road Congress says a vehicle should not wait for more than 180 seconds at a signal. A senior RTO official said city roads were capable of handling 15 lakh vehicles, but 55 lakh vehicles were plying.
Police blame advocates
Vidhana Veedhi is choked mainly because of lawyers’ vehicles, a policeman said. “Earlier, they were demanding a no-parking board, but now that the board is in place, they don’t care about it,” he said.
The problem is acute for pedestrians. “During peak hours, traffic gets uncontrollable,” said a traffic cop. Four traffic police personnel work in the vicinity of the building, but still find it difficult to control the traffic.