Bangalore: Wednesday Could Be Just As Bad! 3 to 4 Hours Traffic, Overnight Rain & Damaged Roads.

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Over 52 lakh people travel by BMTC buses alone; 6,400 buses criss-cross the city throughout the day. Now imagine the chaos when not a single bus plies in the city. That is what happened on Tuesday when Bengalureans made

Three- to four-hour-long traffic jams were the norm as buses stayed off the roads and Bengalureans took their cars out; overnight rains added to the chaos. Wednesday could be just as bad. 

Commuters who thought a BMTC bus strike would leave them with open roads to zip away to work, supersonically, had a rude awakening. Apparently, everybody was out with their own vehicles ready to zip, and nobody was getting anywhere.

At Kadubeesanahalli, commuters were stranded for two hours. At Silk Board, they crawled for more than an hour during the peak traffic hour just to cross the junction.

On the Outer Ring Road at Doddanekundi railway underpass, all hell broke loose — motorists were stuck for more than four and a half hours. You get the (slow) drift? There's more. Those plying from Marathahalli bridge to Ecospace were stuck for over three hours.


Seetharam Vishwanath, who played a pivotal role in setting up ORRCA (Outer Ring Road Companies Association), said: "Every IT office has about 1500-2000 sq ft of parking area for employee vehicles. Visitors' parking is separate. In the two days of bus strike, we saw about 10-12 per cent more vehicles coming in, which led to traffic jam in front of IT firms and roads nearby. It is not possible for companies to accommodate vehicles of every employee."

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The IT workforce and public sector units use over 700 BMTC buses as part of charted services. This includes tie-up with over 43 companies and IT parks including, Infosys, HCL, Accenture, Wipro, Manyata Tech Park, ITPL, Bagmane Tech Park, and Electronics City. If the BMTC service is hit and all private vehicles come out, naturally, the city's traffic would come to a standstill. It is high time, authorities wake up to the situation, say experts.

"Haphazardly parked vehicles on the roads led to clogging. It also puts the traffic police in a dilemma as they did not know if they should control the movement or put away the cars parked on either side of the road," said Vishwanath.

Traffic expert MN Srihari said the Metro could come to the rescue in situations such as these, but not entirely. "The entire city will not get the Metro line and not everyone will have that option. Besides, maxi cabs and private buses also create huge traffic jams. Not everyone can drive to work daily - it can be exhausting and expensive," he said. 

Srihari said the government needed to think of a permanent solution instead of a temporary one. "It should talk to the public transport union and solve the issue because we do not have any other option of commuting other than the public transport system in the city," he said.

BMTC buses chartered by schools and IT firms and others number 1,000. If these stop, 40,000 commuters will be forced to take to private vehicles.

Also, even those who usually take the Metro depended on the feeder service for last-mile commute, especially from SV Road to Whitefield, Marathahalli and Old Airport Road.


The state government has declared a holiday for schools and colleges on Wednesday too, according to a statement from Shankar, the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner. The delay by the government in declaring holidays is causing needless confusion among students and parents, said Shashi Kumar, general secretary of Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS). In fact, KAMS is considering filing a PIL on the issue, he said. About half the schools in the state are likely to be functioning tomorrow, he said.

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