कृष्नराजापुरम Krishnarajapuram (KJM): For 30-year-old IT professional Sujan, the daily ride from his home in Kalyan Nagar to his workplace in Whitefield, is a harrowing experience.
Thanks to the chaotic traffic on a section of Old Madras Road opposite KR Puram railway station, where traffic jams last over an hour or longer during rush hour.
Sujan is not alone in this struggle. Thousands of commuters are trapped in this traffic net everyday.
With neither railway officials nor the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike finding any solution to bring a relief to commuters, the situation is only going to worsen once Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) begins work on the Baiyyappanahalli-Whitefield line.
While the KR Puram railway station is itself a picture of neglect with grossly inadequate infrastructure to tackle train traffic of almost 18 to 20 trains a day, officials say that as much as they would want to expand the station, there is a lack of funds which is hampering its proposals.
This, even as there have been suggestions in the past from all quarters to either expand the station or shift services to two nearby stations – Baiyyappanahalli or Whitefield.
Railway officials say that they are in a catch-22 situation as shifting the station is not an option as it is a crucial link for trains to Yelahanka and plans to expand existing platforms are on hold as they are waiting for sanction of funds from the Railway Board.
Interestingly, this station did not find any mention in the railway budget announced this year.
Meanwhile, Sanjeev, a member of the NGO Praja, said that as per a survey on passenger traffic to this station, most passengers have to come out of the station and board a BMTC bus or take an auto rickshaw to go to their destinations in Whitefield, Electronic City etc.
As most of the daily commuters belong to IT/BT sector, if more trains are given halts at this station, it will significantly reduce the chaos on the road outside, he added.
Another big problem which adds to commuter woes on the road is the fact that BMTC buses coming from Hebbal do not have designated stops on this stretch.
As a result, most passengers who do not have to go to Whitefield get down near the foot overbridge on Old Madras Road, causing long traffic jams on the entire stretch.