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Drivers, fuel dealers and suppliers oppose heavy vehicles curbs in Bengaluru

Although the prohibition during the peak hours is not new, police are now enforcing it strictly, resulting in smooth traffic flow—a development appreciated by netizens.

Fuel dealers have complained that their lorries are being stopped from entering the city.(Express/Representational)

Some lorry drivers and businesses have opposed the prohibition of heavy transport vehicles on Bengaluru’s roads between 8am and 11am, and want traffic police to make alternative arrangements.

Although the prohibition during the peak hours is not new, police are now enforcing it strictly, eventually resulting in smooth traffic in the Karnataka capital’s major junctions—a development appreciated by netizens.

However, fuel dealers complain that their lorries are being stopped from entering the city. Shobha S M of High Tech Auto Services, which supplies diesel, said that a lorry carrying diesel was stopped near Hope Farm Road near Whitefield on Wednesday by traffic police.

“We supply diesel to a lot of school buses and also police vans on a credit basis. However, we have been facing problems in the past few days as diesel-carrying lorries are stopped near Hope Farm Road at 7.45 am, even before the peak hours kick in. We were running out of diesel, but because of the prohibition of the heavy vehicles, drivers are not able to unload fuel at fuel stations,” Shobha said.

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Some senior traffic officials said they were not aware of such incidents, according to Shobha. “The fuel shortage will cost us dear and we will fail to serve our customers like school buses, police vans, who are in desperate need of fuel,” Shobha said, adding that drivers were complaining about having to work extra hours because of the peak-hour ban.

G R Shanmugappa, president of the Federation of Lorry Owners and Agents Associations, said that many drivers driving heavy trucks were complaining about long waits at checkpoints on the city’s outskirts such as Tumkur Road and Hosur Road. “Although this is a persistent problem, lorry drivers are actually facing the heat from police when they have to transport goods to major markets in the city and unload them at godowns. They end up taking more time because of the deviations and detours forced on them by traffic police.”

Shanmugappa also said that lorry drivers had long been demanding that wholesalers shift their godowns to the outskirts. “Without consulting the stakeholders, traffic police are restricting the movement of lorries, causing a lot of problems to the drivers,” he added.

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A supplier for an oil marketing companies said that a lot of fuel stations were running dry because lorries that serve them during the peak hours were being pulled up by traffic police, despite fuel being an essential commodity. “We have also written to the traffic commissioner urging him to address this issue at the earliest,” he said.

Kuldeep Kumar, traffic DCP (west), told indianexpress.com that police were allowing heavy vehicles meant for essential supplies. “Only those heavy vehicles with no emergency need are being stopped during the peak hours. They are allowed to enter the city after 11am. We have more police presence than before at critical junctions to ensure smooth traffic flow in the morning,” he said.

“In addition, we have identified dedicated corridors where we synchronise two-three signals at a time where commuters will be given green signals from signal A and not be stopped at signal B and C, which fall within a 50-100m distance. They will be stopped only at signal D,” the police officer added.

First published on: 01-12-2022 at 20:59 IST
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