Bangalore, Sept 27, 2017: The gates of Vayudooth Chamber and Kids Kemp on Trinity Circle are closed due to Zero Clearances during VIP convoy movement twice a week causing inconvenience to the customers and loss of business to the stores.
Over the last three months, 65 convoy movements have taken place from HAL to Vidhana Soudha, says the HAL Traffic Police Authority. All these were zero clearance convoys, which meant that traffic lights, pedestrians were to be stopped during the convoy movement. However, says HAL Traffic Police Commissioner, Mohammed M.A., gates or shops cannot be closed at any given time.
Vishal Saboo, Saboo Collection, said, “It has become a routine every once a week our gates are shut. Usually when it any VVIP’s convoy the gates are shut for at least 7 to 10 minutes stopping pedestrian movement in that area which in turn stops customers from entering our shop.”
The security guards of the building said that the traffic police do not inform them prior to the arrival and out of the blue ask them to shut the gates.
In 2004, the Kempegowda International Airport (KGIA) was built on the outskirts of the city apart since the HAL Airport was unable to handle the rise in commercial traffic. Since 2005 HAL airport remains open for operations only for VVIP, military aircrafts, the Air force and private chartered planes.
“It is very rare that we shut gates of complexes, we have to shut the gates of Vayudooth chamber and Kids Kemp as it is the junction. We shut the gates to stop movement of cars from the building to make way for the VIP and avoid accidents, said Sub inspector, Ulsoor Traffic Police Station, ML Nijalingappa.
Tina Dutta, customer of Saboo Collection, said that, “My office is in Mittal Towers, so I usually walk down to the Trinity Circle junction. It is hard to move around during the time of convoy movement as the VIP cars are speeding. I rather not walk around at that time than risking my life. So we usually avoid going to shops near the Trinity Junction.”
Ananth Kumar who runs, Vedhanta Store, a provision store near Trinity Circle on the way to HAL Airport, said “the high-end showrooms do not face loss as much as we do as for us even 15 minutes, twice a week, makes a huge difference. Once the gates are shut customers just walk past the shops and we feel helpless.”
“This month there have been 18 VIP movements, we are obligated to zero clearance for the security of the Governor, President, Prime Minister and the Chief Minister who travel from HAL to Vidhana Soudha,” said the HAL Traffic Police Inspector, Mohammed M.A.
Taking into consideration data of convoy movements from HAL Traffic Police and data from the shopkeeper Ananth Kumar’s sales account. It was found that the increase in VIP convoy movements led to reduction in sales of business in that area.
Mohammed M.A added that their protocol is the security of the VIP first; allowing only vehicles gone through security check. “We have to be careful about the cars of customers as they are not checked being a threat for security for the VIP,” he said.
A few months ago, in the month of May, the central government decided to allow only emergency vehicles like fire service, police and army to use the blue flashing beacon and to cut through traffic. There was a clear ban on the movement of VIP vehicles obstructing the traffic which was to symbolise and end to elitism.
Pankaj Yadav, Urban Developer said, “In Bangalore the roads planned for the VIP convoy moment is through the main points of the city all the way from Vidhan Soudha to HAL. It is often that the CM uses that route twice a week which involves several businesses, too.”
In the future, Pankaj Yadav said the Government should find other ways, perhaps an underground tunnel, to the HAL Airport for the normal functioning of businesses.