To unclog CBD, auto ban likely on MG Road
BENGALURU: SOON, autos may be stopped from plying on busy roads of the city’s central business district.
The transport department is preparing to bar entry to the ubiquitous three-wheelers on MG Road and around the Vidhana Soudha. Although the CBD is said to cover a radius of 10 km from the state secretariat, the restrictions are likely to apply to about half the area, or even less.
The proposal was discussed at a recent meeting of the State Transport Authority. “We have not made an announcement as we need to work out an alternative,” an official said. While Mumbai has restricted autos in some areas, and encourages the use of taxis, no alternative arrangements were called for in Bengaluru as the Metro is already functioning, said department officials.
There are hitches, they agree. For instance, how will elderly people on MG Road traverse some distance to catch the Metro, or reach home in a neighbourhood not connected by the train?
The department also anticipates resistance from auto drivers. “They will ask why they aren’t allowed when private cabs are. The problem with autos is, they mostly refuse to ply, and clog up the road by parking at will,” the official said. About 1.6 lakh autos ply in Bengaluru. “The meeting also considered details of traffic violations by autos,” the official said.
But auto drivers are predictably furious. Sampath, secretary, Adarsha Auto Union, said: “Many depend on autos. Instead of banning all autos, ban those older than 15 years, and in phases. It is not logical to say only autos cause traffic congestion. If they want a ban, let them ban taxis too. Else, we will be forced to protest.”