BENGALURU: Bengaluru has been witnessing huge volumes of erratic traffic on the roads with private vehicle owners and motorists hitting the road in large numbers with the state government ushering in the Unlock 2.0 on June 21.
Lane indiscipline, signal jumping, over-speeding, wrong-side overtaking, wrong parking and a whole range of traffic violations are back with a vengeance, as if motorists, who were cooped up indoors due to COVID restrictions for over a month.
A harassed motorist said, "It is as if they have lost touch with driving and forgotten traffic rules! It is horrible for disciplined motorists."
Since April 27, motorists with the exception of those delivering essential services had been restricted from hitting the road. But with restrictions lifted considerably, major arterial stretches of Bengaluru, including Hosur Road, Outer Ring Road, Tumakuru Road, Kanakapura Road and Bannerghatta Road are witnessing chaotic traffic for the last one week. Even interior roads and Central Business District are jam-packed.
Prakash Gowda, a resident of CV Raman Nagar, said, "I used to travel by Metro from Baiyyappanahalli to MG Road, but stopped because of the COVID second wave and I don’t want to take the risk. I recently bought a new car to avoid using public transport."
Not just Gowda, several others too are buying private vehicles fearing catching the infection if they travelled on Metro or the BMTC buses, which have resumed services, pointed out traffic experts.
Another motorist Puneet Kumar, a resident of Indira Nagar, does not trust public transport because of their lack of reliability and is out on his two-wheeler after 7 pm as traffic is lesser then.
MN Srihari, an expert from Transportation Infrastructure Planning Systems, says the city has more than 1.1 crore vehicles and most of the roads are still in a bad condition, triggering traffic jams as people who continue to work from offices are trying to reach their workplaces by taking different routes.
He said that ongoing Smart City works have been delayed due to problems in procuring materials and workforce availability, while the traffic police are unable to handle the situation, and the traffic mess continues.