Choc-a-bloc with traffic, the Mysuru Road sees a large number of accidents, with speeding buses and potholes contributing to the chaos. Will the recent death of two students, knocked down by a BMTC bus on the road, be a wake-up call to the authorities? Aknisree Karthik and Mujahid Deputy report
If speeding autorickshaws often have people jumping out of their way, so do speeding buses in the city. Miraculously accidents are averted, but not always. For two PU college students, who happened to be on the footpath near the KSRTC satellite bus stand on Mysuru Road, their encounter with an out of control BMTC bus proved fatal Tuesday morning.
The two teens, Chandrakantha (17) and Yadu Kumar (18), students of the BBMP Kasturba PU College , did not have time to jump out of the way as the bus speeded towards them with the driver fighting to control it as its brakes failed. The two died instantly, becoming the latest additions to the list of people, who have been killed in accidents on the busy Mysuru road, which has turned killer owing to the heavy traffic, reckless drivers, absence of footpaths and careless pedestrians.
The stretch near the Gopalan mall in Byatarayanapura traffic police limits is frequented by school and college students besides office-goers who are found waiting for their buses here. While there is a bus shelter on one side of the road, the other side doesn’t have one, forcing passengers to wait in the hot sun for their buses on the footpaths or on the road itself at great personal risk
Being a highway, a large number of lorries, trucks and buses use it, putting the lives of the people even more at risk. Those who try to cross the road after alighting from the buses also have a harrowing time in the face of the seemingly unending traffic.
“It takes a long time to cross the road during the peak hours and sometimes I even miss my classes as a result,” says Rohit, a college student. People here believe a skywalk or subway could make it safer for them to cross the road.
They are pinning their hopes on the flyover being built by the BDA at the Nayadahalli inter-junction to connect Tumkur Road with Bannerghatta Road, coming to their rescue. “The level one flyover is one of the longest in the city. It could help reduce accidents on the Mysuru highway. We are eagerly waiting to make use of it,” says a resident of Nayadahalli.
Adding to the chaos on the roads is the incomplete white-topping done here. While it has been completed on one side of the road, the other is still waiting to be white-topped near the Gopalan Mall, complain the locals.
“People heading to Kasturba Nagar from the satellite bus stand need to negotiate the uneven white topped road. If the BBMP cannot complete the white-topped road on time, why did it even start work on it? The earlier tar road was much better,” says Mr Govind, a mechanic.
The problem is compounded by the ongoing work on the Metro Rail, say the people, wondering when their lives will get easier.
Pedestrians should show more caution: Traffic senior police
Jumping to the defence of the traffic police, a senior police officer says it cannot always be blamed for road accidents as both the drivers and pedestrians too need to exhibit some road sense. “After all, it’s a matter of life and death. Most of the accidents involving pedestrians take place because they are careless. Despite seeing vehicles approaching, they don’t stop and try to run across the road, putting their lives at risk. They need to understand this,” he stresses, arguing that it is impossible for the police to handle both the public and the vehicles on the roads. “With the entire stretch of the Myore Road, from the satellite bus stand to Kengeri, lined with shops, people often cross it haphazardly to get to them. But they have no other option,” he admits. While a few traffic experts believe skywalks are a must at the main junctions on Mysore road for the convenience of pedestrians, others say they are not likely to serve any purpose if they are not scientifically built. “In most places where skywalks exist, their surroundings are not properly fenced, allowing people to cross the roads if they choose to. It is important to make sure pedestrians have no option but to use the skywalks at these points,” they stress. The skywalks also need to be equipped with escalators or lifts to make them attractive to pedestrians, in their view. “Properly designed skywalks will be a boon not just for pedestrians but also motorists, who can then drive hassle-free,” they add.