Kengeri circle becomes an accident hotspot

City Infrastructure TRAFFIC

Kengeri circle has become a blind spot for traffic management, weak infrastructure results in rampant accidents.

A total of 10 accidents have occurred in the past five months around Kengeri circle, killing two people and leaving four others with serious injuries,, according to data provided by the Kengeri traffic police.

Manju, head constable at the traffic management department in the Kengeri police station said, “The area remains overcrowded throughout the day. During the night it becomes much more dangerous and most accidents happen then.” The Kengeri circle is the meeting point of three roads—one that leads to the metro station, another to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus stand and the third to the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation KSRDC stand.

There is no zebra crossing for pedestrians to cross the road. The over-bridge which was supposed to be an alternative for walkers is under construction for more than a year. It was supposed to be completed in March 2023.

The over-bridge is under construction for more than a year due to which pedestrians have to use the road and risk their lives.

Nandish assistant sub inspector (ASI) at the traffic management department in the Kengeri police station said, “There is too much pedestrians activity around the Kengeri circle and there is no alternative route for them to go to their destination. The main reason for the accidents is poorly planned infrastructure in the area. Even the over-bridge which was supposed to bring relief to the people is under construction for more than a year.”

In addition, surveillance cameras installed at the junction are not working properly, which hampers traffic management of the area.

Manju said “The cameras at the junction point are not working properly, they hardly catch anything. A request has been given to the head office regarding the up-gradation and installation of new cameras, but action is yet to be taken.”

Nandish brings out the point that Artificial Intelligence (AI) cameras could help in better surveillance of the area. He said “There can be better management of traffic and improvement in surveillance of the area if we are able to install AI equipped cameras.  There are too many traffic violations in the area, much more than the main city, but due to poor technology most of them go unchecked. As a result, people do not fear fine and violate rules. The 0.5 kilometerarea around the circle has become very dangerous for pedestrians.”

The workers at the over-bridge made a point that the contractor has changed many times therefore the work has been delayed. Mustafa, who is working on the over-bridge for last six months said, “The contractor changes constantly—this is the third contractor in half a year.”

Only one lane of the bridge is operational out of three, that also without elevator. Therefore, elderly have no choice but to walk on the road.

Vinay Kumar Chief Engineer, BBMP RR Nagar zone said, “The over-bridge is being made on a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) model, hence the contractor has to complete work. Since there was delay in the project we had to change contractor, but work will be finished soon.”

Reashma, who is a traffic expert at Street Matrix (an interdisciplinary consulting firm headquartered in Bengaluru) and a PhD scholar said “The problem is mainly due to poor planning and wrong emphasis by the authorities. The emphasis is always on the vehicles and not on the pedestrians. They only think about walkers after the road is built and is already functioning. Even if an overbridge is made, there no elevator installed, due to which the elderly usually choose to cross the road the usual way.”

She added that the infrastructure in outskirts of the city is not up to the mark. Because of that most of the traffic fatalities happen there. There are no speed zones or speed tables in Kengeri.

Mohammad Furqqan, who owns a restaurant in the area said, “There is a constant struggle to cross the road, vehicles are moving in a very large volume in the area. Especially at night many trucks are moving and it takes 5-10 minutes to cross the road safely.”

Narayan, who owns a paan shop in the area said, “Crossing the road by foot is very difficult, if we have to go to the bus stand or the metro station, this is the only option available. Elderly people coming to my shop have difficulty crossing the road between such fast-moving vehicles. There is no zebra crossing to help walkers cross the road.”