Bengaluru: Wednesday’s traffic chaos on Ballari Road, following the overflowing of Hebbal Lake due to moderate rains, has prompted concerns about the city’s infrastructure and disaster preparedness.
Traffic police data revealed an unusual surge in congestion along the stretch of Ballari Road from Chalukya Junction to the Hebbal flyover’s down ramp towards the airport on Wednesday (November 8).
The situation was exacerbated by the breaching of Hebbal Lake, causing water to overflow onto the road.
In all, 378 congestion alerts were reported, as against 76 alerts on a typical Wednesday in September. The congestion covered an extensive 82,720 meters of the road, compared to the usual 17,000 meters on a regular Wednesday.
Peak congestion, indicating heavy traffic, occurred between 5 pm and 8 pm, reaching approximately 9,500 meters.
MN Anucheth, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), told DH:”We observed a delay of about 56 minutes as the vehicles moved extremely slowly, especially towards Hebbal and beyond.”
Anuchethalso said the lake’s water level was very high and water was flowing out rather than into it.
Experts attributed the chaos to inadequate planning and attention to infrastructural details.
Prof D Nagesh Kumar from the Ccivil Engineering Department at IISc said that the water-holding capacity of the lakes gradually reduced due to lack of clean outlets and encroachments.
"Lakes need to be desilted and dredged at least once a decade,” Kumar said. “Else, we may encounter similar situations in future. We are not ready for that."
Prof Ashish Verma from IISc’s Transport Systems Engineering Department said that improper management of stormwater drains, coupled with subpar road design, has caused the situation.
(Published 11 November 2023, 00:02 IST)