BENGALURU: More than 15 VVIPs, who had landed in the city to witness the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy as the new Chief Minister at Vidhana Soudha, got the bitter taste of traffic at its worst in Bengaluru. The VVIPs, whose convoys were not cleared for zero-traffic passage ways, had to suffer the brunt of Bengaluru's infamous traffic, as they found themselves stuck on congested roads while on their way to the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday.
The city traffic police had a tough time in ensuring free movement for VVIP convoys but it did not work according to their plan. A senior police officer in the city traffic police told The New Indian Express, “There were 18-20 convoys and it was crazy managing them. Firstly, none of them were entitled to zero-traffic, except for the Governor and the new Chief Minister. Then, convoys were coming from various directions at the same time and there was no chance for the police to ensure free movement for all of them. Many of the convoys were stuck in between other vehicles. We were not in a position to do anything about it and it was not unexpected too.”
The convoys of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and a few others were stuck in the traffic.
Besides, motorists had a tough time as they were stuck in the traffic gridlocks in the late afternoon, as thousands of people converged on Vidhana Soudha.
As there was VVIP movement especially on the International Airport Road (Bellary Road) and Old Airport Road, commuters were stranded on the streets linking the main thoroughfares too.
The worst hit were the approach roads to Vidhana Soudha. As the police had blocked Ambedkar Veedhi, Raj Bhavan Road, Race Course Road, Sankey Road, Sheshadri Road, MG Road, KR Circle and surrounding areas had come to a grinding halt for more than an hour.
People from across the state had come to the city in more than 2,000 buses and vans to witness Kumaraswamy being sworn in as the 25th chief minister of the state. The buses were, however, not allowed into the heart of the city.
Heavy rains, that stopped just a few minutes before the ceremony, also added to the chaos. On many roads commuters were seen cursing politicians.
Upset Mamata Banerjee takes officer to task
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is said to have expressed her displeasure over the awful traffic arrangements made around Vidhana Soudha. It is learnt that her convoy was stuck in the traffic and as it was getting late to reach the venue, she had to get down and walk a few metres to the venue. Upset over this, she took a senior police officer to task at Vidhana Soudha and also expressed her displeasure to JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, who reportedly apologised to her.