Traffic came to halt on the busy Bangalore-Mysore Road for more than four hours as a result of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s roadshow, forcing authorities to divert vehicles via the Bannur-Malavalli Road.
Tourists and weekend travellers were the worst hit and were left stranded in some places as Rahul, who was supposed to pass Mysore city and take a special flight from Mysore around 6 pm, was late by two hours, keeping police on their toes. The weekend crowd that was on their way to Bangalore from Madikeri and Mysore had to take a long detour to reach the city.
The public were put to inconvenience as the roadshow routes were barricaded and parking on New Sayyaji Rao Road, Agrahara Circle and other points were banned for the day.
The traffic police and Home Guards deputed for traffic management struggled to ensure that traffic limped back to normalcy.
Most policemen were pressed into bandobust duty as per the requirements of the Special Protection Group, which is responsible for the Congress vice-president’s security.
Vasanth, a resident of Bangalore, said the police, instead of blocking two ways on Bangalore-Mysore Road, should have allowed vehicles on one way without causing inconvenience. He said driving on narrow roads would result in taking more time to reach Bangalore.
While Rahul and other senior leaders such as KPCC president G Parameshwara and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah got a rousing reception at Maddur, the response to the roadshow was mostly lukewarm, barring a few junctions in Mandya and Mysore city.
Supporters who turned out in good numbers at Kalasavadi on Bangalore-Mysore Road had to wait for hours, anticipating their leader’s arrival. Congress leaders attributed the low turnout due to delays and it being a weekend.
Detours Leave KSRTC Bleeding
The diversion of KSRTC buses via Malvalli cost the State Transport Corporation dearly as buses consumed about 2-3 additional litres of diesel to cover the extra 12 km.
KSRTC divisional traffic officer Basavaraj said they operated all 520 trips between Bangalore and Mysore. He said they were asked to divert buses between 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm.