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Bengaluru traffic mess: Political rallies haunt cops

Gridlocked city looks for answers to chaos, cops had a tough time regulating traffic because of a rally at Palace Grounds

Published: 25th March 2017 06:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2017 06:58 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: A day after several parts of city witnessed severe traffic congestion due to the JD(S) rally and protest by anganwadi workers, Bengaluru Traffic Police want restrictions on protests and rallies in the Central Business District.

Speaking to Express, Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) R Hithendra said, “It’s high time that protests and rallies are banned as they are increasingly turning out to be a nightmare for both motorists and policemen”. 

“In a democratic society, people do have the right to protest, but commuters also have rights to move from one point to another. For instance, Freedom Park is earmarked to stage protests but still many people want to block the main road, which causes severe inconvenience to motorists,” Hithendra said.

On Thursday, he said, traffic police personnel had a tough time regulating traffic because of a political rally at Palace Grounds, a protest on Seshadri Road, a procession between Town hall and Freedom Park and the marriage function of the daughter of a high court judge at Palace Grounds. 

“It takes several hours to clear the traffic on the roads leading to Kempegowda International Airport as well other areas like J C Road, Jayanagar and Rajajinagar. We are already facing huge challenges in handling the increasing volume of vehicles,” said Hithendra.  

“We cannot allow them to stage protests or rallies even during non-peak hours as a large number of people in and around the city and other districts reach the city by different vehicles. We are also unable to ban weddings on Palace Grounds as there is already a court order in favour of it,” said Hithendra. 

“Political parties, both ruling and opposition, are united on this issue as they don’t want to ban their rallies here. But we are struggling because of these rallies, especially during peak hours. It gets difficult to reach even airport on time,” says Shilpi K, a regular commuter on Ballari Road. 

While music concerts have been pushed to the outskirts, lavish weddings, political and religious functions continue to be held at Palace Grounds resulting in severe traffic congestion in nearby areas.  

Experts feel that the government should allow big events only outside the city in places like Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on Tumakuru Road and government land near Hoskote. 
Transportation expert M N Srihari said the government should completely ban protests and rallies in the CBD area.

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