The way we approach our traffic sense can only be described as uncivilized, undisciplined, reckless, and downright stupid. It is truly disheartening to witness supposedly civilized individuals behaving in a manner that completely contradicts their stature and status.
To address the chaos at the First Railway Gate in Tilakwadi, the authorities have resorted to barricading the area, causing significant inconvenience to the local population. However, one must question whether this is truly the only solution, the ultimate remedy for the traffic issues in the zone. This matter is certainly open to further debate and discussion.
Another instance of barricading can be observed near Hotel Sanman on College Road, aimed at facilitating smoother movement. However, this has resulted in chaos at Lingaraj College gate, as everyone is now forced to make a U-turn.
Furthermore, the entry of LMVs, LCVs, and HTVs from Ashoka Circle towards Shankam Road has been prohibited. Instead, they are required to take the Kanakdas Circle route after the lake and join the highway. Unfortunately, this measure is likely to increase instances of wrong-side riding, a problem that has persisted on Congress Road since the barricades were initially installed at the First Gate years ago.
Additionally, a trial basis one-way system has been implemented near CBT, with the route from CBT to Khade Bazar now being closed off.
The attitude of both the traffic police and the citizens at large is truly tragic! It is disheartening to see that despite protests, the traffic police have chosen to stick to their guns and keep the barricades in place. However, if they have made this rule for the public’s safety, they should have at least lived up to their own commitment. As enforcers, they should have patrolled the region until the implementation was complete, if not beyond.
Unfortunately, it seems that the traffic police have vanished from the region and shifted their focus to tasks such as nabbing people for minor speeding offenses or non-possession of relevant documents. This neglect has resulted in a significant number of vehicles traveling on the wrong side of Congress Road and a chaotic scene of vehicles crossing over the divider that splits the road. It is astonishing to witness how much risk people are willing to take for the sake of convenience, just to avoid traveling an extra 250 meters or so.
This behavior is not limited to a specific group; both the young and the old, the educated and the less educated, are guilty of breaking the rules. It is a clear reflection of our mentality as a society. We continue to engage in thoughtless and heedless acts of convenience, simply waiting for something adverse to happen.
If you drive down one side of Congress Road, you are bound to encounter these lawbreakers in a variety of vehicles, jumping across the divider in an attempt to save time. Trucks, students riding triple seat on two-wheelers, autos packed with school children like sheep, and even luxurious cars – all contribute to this violation.
Instead of following the rule and taking the right path to avoid inconvenience, people will look at you as if you are an alien from another planet. It is truly shameful! Should we simply lament over the kind of society we live in, or should we hang our heads in shame?
Are we simply waiting for a major disaster that, God forbid, could be imminent? Although a single article on All About Belgaum may not put an end to the chaos on Congress Road, the attitude displayed reflects a clear lack of civic responsibility and discipline. It seems to be ingrained in our way of life, despite our claims of having a rich culture. When attempting to discourage those who break the law and offer suggestions, we are often met with indifference and a million-dollar stare that seems to say, “Why should I care? Everyone else does it, so why shouldn’t I?”
With inputs from Sameer Majali.