SHIVAMOGGA: Commuters and passengers travelling along Charmadi Ghat on Tuesday evening had a taste of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s frequent delays of his trip schedule. They were made to wait for more than four hours as Charmdadi Ghat was turned into a zero-traffic zone to facilitate easy movement of the CM’s convoy.
Kumaraswamy was scheduled to pass through Charmadi Ghat in Chikkamagaluru district at 4.10 pm, on his way back from Kukke Subramanya temple. But the convoy got there only after 6 pm to test the patience of the road users. The volume of vehicles grew exponentially at Shiradi Ghat, the alternative route to the coast is shut due to landslides.
Passengers got angry and frustrated because the police clamped restrictions on buses and heavy vehicles much before the convoy drove onto the Ghat. “Police did not seem to have an idea of the convoy movement. Without any confirmation, they stopped several buses and other vehicles. Some buses ended up having to wait for more than four hours,” a passenger from Chikkamagauru told Express.
The police stopped vehicles at Kottigeara and Banakal towns much before the CM’s arrival. Police said that the CM’s convoy came two hours behind schedule and that the traffic was affected only between 4 pm and 6 pm. Bus passengers were worst affected with most of the KSRTC buses being made to park in and around the Kottigehara bus terminus.
“We allowed emergency vehicles, and smaller vehicles to move on the Ghat and only heavy vehicles and passenger buses were stopped. More than because of the CM’s convoy, an accident on the Ghat involving a bus caused the blockage. Hence, we had to restrict vehicles. As the other alternative road is closed for vehicular movement, a number of vehicles gathered at Charmadi,” clarified Chikkamagaluru SP (in-charge) Lakshmi Prasad.