Bengaluru: Bengaluru residents face regular traffic jams at Manyata Tech Park, Silk Board and Electronics City, leading to loss of manhours.
According to the annual report 2020 released by the location technology firm TomTom, the city experiences the worst traffic congestions in India. Bengaluru is on top in traffic jams among 416 cities.
TomTom research shows that the peak-hour commuter in Bengaluru spends an extra 243 hours – 10 days – stuck in traffic each year. That’s an extra 71% of travel time. Fridays have the worst congestion. Rush hours on all days are between 6-8 in the evening.
Madhurendra Jha, an employee of Infosys, informed The Observer: “Every day I have to leave my home half an hour early to reach my office on time. Else the biometric system installed at my office will mark me late even for a five-minute delay.”
“One of my colleagues was fired from Accenture because he repeatedly reached his office late. Many have shifted to homes near their offices despite a higher cost,” Jha added.
Road traffic in India’s four big cities – Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Pune – has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Autorickshaw and cab drivers are also affected. Syed Farooq, an autorickhaw driver, said: “We spend almost two hours daily in traffic jams. During peak hours on Fridays, we charge Rs 10-20 extra depending on our location in the city.”
Another autorickshaw driver, S. Prabhakaran , said: “Our earnings are declining because people use apps like Vogo and Rapido. Now we have enrolled ourselves with Uber and prefer to go long distances to earn more rather than travel to nearby places.”
Harinath Babu, a motorcyclist who works in Cognizant, said he would travel by car but get caught in traffic on Suranjan Das Road. “During peak hours, it cost me around half an hour more than usual.”
Ashish Verma, an associate professor at the department of civil engineering in the Indian Institute of Science, wrote an article in the IISc journal which suggested: “(It’s) the government’s continued focus on road-based infrastructure and the lack of a dedicated traffic management cell which make the fundamental flaws in the management of urban transport in Bengaluru.”
“Delays in the completion of key mass-transit projects like Metro and suburban rail, and shortcomings in reviving fledgling public buses, are weighing in on the rapidly shifting dynamics of city commutes across the country.” The Covid-19 pandemic has made matters worse, he added.
Prashanth Siddangowdar, ACP, Traffic East, said: “The government has taken many steps to decongest traffic in areas like Silk Board and Electronics City by giving traffic congestion reports, construction alerts, and others to guide travellers to avoid congested areas.
“The Karnataka government has planned to tie up with Japan for advanced traffic information and management system in Bengaluru which will further help in traffic problems.”
The Bengaluru Metro transported more than 5 lakh people daily at peak of its usage before the pandemic. Electronics City, Outer Ring Road, and Whitefield are yet to be connected by Metro, leading to more private vehicles on the roads.