BENGALURU: Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who has in the past strongly defended his right to ‘zero traffic’, terming it his ‘privilege’, earned the ire of several schoolchildren on Friday as his convoy
protocol caused the children to reach their school 20 minutes late. The minister ironically, was on his way to inspect Dinnur Road, which sees regular traffic congestion. The students belong to a private school in RT Nagar and had to wait in their bus for close to 20 minutes as the RT Nagar traffic police had stopped all traffic.
While the students looked irritated and confused at what was going on, commuters on the stretch, headed to office, were angry with the Deputy CM for being made to wait early in the morning. “If they want to pass by, why should we be made to wait? Let them get a feel of how it is to commute in traffic. At least the school bus should have been allowed to pass,” a commuter said.
According to Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) P Harishekaran, Parameshwara was definitely entitled to use the privilege. “He has been given the clearance,” he said. However, to his credit, when Parameshwara was told about his convoy delaying the schoolchildren, he immediately apologised.
“No one should face any difficulty because of us. I had asked the traffic police not to stop ambulances and school vehicles but it happened. I will make sure it does not occur again,” he said.
A traffic police officer
from RT Nagar defended the move. “Yes the vehicles were made to stop, but there was no problem as everything proceeded smoothly. Commuters had to wait for a minimum time and we released traffic as soon as the convoy passed,” the officer said. Once Parameshwara reached Dinnur Road, he spoke to
motorists there to take stock of the situation.
“The road is steep and traffic is high, road widening was planned in this area, it was estimated that 80 feet of space would be broken on either side of the road. But locals have appealed for a house and a store not to be demolished. Money has already been allotted for road widening,” a statement from the BBMP said.