When a seven-km stretch of the road takes 45 minutes to cross, it calls for an action. When the area is near a prominent IT zone like Whitefield in Bengaluru, it is likely to affect the image of the city too. Bruhat Whitefield Residential Community Association (BWRCA) from Whitefield will submit a memorandum to the Kadugodi Traffic Police demanding to solve the traffic problems near Whitefield.
The three major issues that the memorandum highlights are:
- Enforcing ‘no entry’ for heavy vehicles at Kadugodi Rail Over Bridge, during peak hours;
- Better traffic management at Hope farm circle
- Prohibiting parking of vehicles on Belathur road, which is under repair work
- Regulating autorickshaws that charge higher in the area.
The area around Whitefield, along the SH35, has been developing by leaps and bounds. SH35 connects Hoskote to Hosur. The amount of vehicles that use this stretch to reach Whitefield have increased by leaps and bounds in the last few years.
As a result, the road from Whitefield Railway Station and Kadugodi Bridge to the apartments in Belathur, Seegehalli and Kannamangala is heavily trafficked. According to traffic expert M N Sreehari, the traffic density on this road is 3,800 per car unit. Since this road is a state highway, it has constant vehicular movement.
Sampath Ramanujan, a resident of Sai Garden and coordinator of BWRCA takes care of traffic-related issues. He says that it takes 45 minutes for a drive of 7 km from Chaithanya Samarpan to ITPL. Belathur road repair work was initiated in December 2013, after BWRCA members continuously pressed for it. Because of this work, only one side of the road can be used for commuting. This single lane gets blocked by parked volvos and trucks during peak hours, thus leading to more chaos and traffic.
Commuters who take this stretch daily have been suffering for many years now. Ramanujan says that several times BWRCA had raised the traffic management issues in the monthly traffic meeting. Their demands were always objected by the representatives of auto rickshaw unions or truck drivers.
Tired of waiting to be heard in the meeting, members have finally drafted the memorandum which would be presented to the Kadugodi traffic police station soon.
Heavy vehicles entering freely
SH 35 has four lanes (7 metres each, both the ways). There is a rule in place that restricts truck movement in the city during peak hours. Apart from this, there is a separate board placed at the Kannamangala gate that says “No entry for heavy vehicles between 9 am to 11 am.” However, trucks continue to use this road till 11 am.”
The entire stretch of SH 35 is four-lane. Breakdown of trucks or volvos at Kadugodi Rail over bridge lead to a major traffic block. Ramanujan says, “We had requested Avalahalli police station to make the trucks want to travel to Hoskote use the alternate road, NH 207, but officials aren’t willing to do it.”
Avalahalli traffic police say that the sharp turn at Hoskote underpass will make it difficult for long vehicles like volvo or tankers. However, the residents believe that the Katamnallur gate, which is presently being used, and Hoskote underpass have no difference.
Members of BWRCA also complain that autorickshaws charge excessively high to commuters. From Kadugodi to Chaitanya Samarpan apartments, for four kms, a resident was charged almost 200% of the actual fare.
More traffic predicted
A part of the SH35 lies within BBMP limit, which is managed by Kadugodi Police station. The rest falls under Avalahalli police station. Even if Kadugodi Traffic Police officers do their best in managing the traffic, their effort is waste as the other side of the road is not managed.
To add up to the traffic soon, a defence colony of over 1000 houses is coming up, in front of Chaithanya Samarpan. Another 2000 plus private properties will soon come up. Once all of them are operational, there will be more traffic.
M N Sreehari says, “Day by day traffic has been increasing on SH35. Government should seriously think of widening this road till Hoskote along with Peripheral link road that connects to airport. A six-lane road should be sufficient.” However, he is hopeful that a day will come when these areas will connected by metro and monorail, which will ease the burden from the roads.