Lunar Craters Or Bangalore Traffic?

Lunar Craters Or Bangalore Traffic?

Lunar Craters Or Bangalore Traffic?

-By Shruti Menon

Traffic in Bangalore most certainly does not move as fast as those lights seem to be moving. Bangalore may be the garden city, the silicon city of India, but what it’s most renowned for, is probably its traffic. And if you’re traveling to Bangalore from the airport, good luck with that— it’s a totally different story.

Bangalore’s traffic issue seems to be the butt of memes and jokes on the internet more and more nowadays, and it is getting harder and harder for the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the administrative body responsible for civic amenities and some infrastructure) to disregard the issue. One of the viral gags has been a  video showing a man in a spacesuit, walking on what seemed like the crater ridden the surface of the moon, but slowly panning out to show an auto zooming away, revealing that it was, in reality, the pothole-ridden Bengaluru road that he was walking on. The issue is so bad, that the matter has even been taken up as a story by BBC— it’s made international news!

Why is traffic so bad in this erstwhile Pensioner’s Paradise? Part of the reason is Bengaluru’s marked population increases since the IT boom, and the city’s infrastructure was unable to keep up. Because public transport is also not enough to ferry people about, many are reliant on their private vehicles, and the number of these just seem to be growing. One- third of the city streets have also been taken away by parking and encroachments, restricting road space for the ever-increasing number of vehicles. Ideal solutions to this would be taxing vehicle purchases so that the number of new vehicles entering the traffic system would reduce, or improving public transport facilities, but the government instead comes up with plans like creating steel bridges and flyovers, that only work in the short run. Those roadways, at this rate, will get clogged up soon as well. Bad maintenance of the roads is also major contributors, with numerous potholes on the road that are temporarily patched up, and reopen again in the rainy season. Stricter regulation of driver’s license tests also has to be done— with the current system, it is very easy to get a license without a high skill level, thus allowing drivers with terrible road sense and knowledge of traffic rules to drive, thus worsening the situation.

Though Bangaloreans are trying to spread awareness of the gridlocked roads through humorous memes and other content, the issue remains very serious and real. People trying to get to places get delayed, leading to frustration and repercussions in their lives, and in some cases, there have been pothole-related deaths as well. The irresponsibility of the BBMP needs to be called out so that Bangalore becomes a safer and more efficient city to travel in. Till then, we as citizens must continue to do the needful by spreading awareness and minimizing purchases of our own personal vehicles.