Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A traffic jams, a diversion and confusion

Caught in a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere.
Nowhere is the section between the fringe end of Bangalore and Electronic city, which is now the best known address in Bangalore, thanks to the software industry.

Now there is Electronic city phase 1, a phase 2 and many other in the offing. The road which connects the two cities (Electronic and Bangalore) is a road known as Hosur road, a road that was a highway in the days when only 4 vehicles plied on it. Today with a heavy traffic on the road and light road sense the road is madness and traffic updates on local radios begins with "except Hosur road, are there any jams"(Its been like this for a few years now).

As is the case in my posts, that is not the point. While we returned from one of Electronic cities non descript areas, we ran into a traffic jam. What initially looked like a usual deadlock on an free for all intersection, turned out to be the end of a long long jam. From there traffic was diverted into one of the nearby villages. Thus began an entertaining journey.

What started off as a bus and a van, slowly became a case study in herd mentality. Some people stopped by and asked, some just drove on in the general geographic direction hoping to reach their destination. From the air the scene would have looked like a long line of ants, suddenly diverted and having lost their senses, going around in circles, running into any empty path, turning back at dead ends, trying to retrace their path. Like ants greet (or is it smell) each other, every vehicle stopped at every other vehicle, took or gave directions or shrugged in helplessness, waved hands (okay, ants dont do that) and tried to get out of the villages into the city.

All the roads (paths, crude stone paths, water filled potholed paths) of the nearby villages were filled with vehicles of all shapes of sizes. In the meantime, traffic from the other direction also found its way into these villages and very soon, one did not know who was following whom. Some people wanted to get out of Bangalore and some wanted to get in and it was one endless circle with vehicles getting off whereever they found empty space. And what summed up the situation two state transport buses found themselves following each other; the drivers checking if they were on the right route (they were in fact going in opposite directions). It turned out that momentarily one of the buses was going back to its starting point!

Finally, with a lot of help from the locals, auto drivers, bus drivers and whatnot, after atantalising 1.5 hours drive on non existent roads, we reached home in what should have been a 15 minute drive.


Arun R said...


Bangalore roads are perfect examples of mismanagement. The only reason I hate Bangalore is for the traffic.

Heard that the work for the new Metro Rail is starting soon. It will definitely add a new dimension to the already existing chaos in the city.

Jasmine said...

I'd heard a lot about Bangalore, and when I visited the place, the only things that didn't live up to my expectations were the roads. They're so tiny compared to Delhi. No wonder all those company heads are threatening to leave Bangalore if the government doesn't better the infrastructure.