No permission as yet, but farmers’ rally from Tumkur Road (Nice Road Junction) to Freedom Park could cause major traffic chaos
While agitating farmers gathered at the Haryana border abutting the national capital have been given the nod to take out a ‘tractor rally’ on Republic Day, January 26, the Bengaluru police are treading cautiously on an application by Karnataka farmer leaders to take out a similar tractor rally to the heart of the state capital. While the New Delhi rally will cover a 100-km route, the proposed rally by Karnataka farmers will cover nearly 45 km. Worried about traffic normalcy being disrupted, the Bengaluru police are currently in talks with farm leaders and are also looking for cues from their Delhi counterparts.
Farmers nationwide have been protesting since the past two months over new farm laws passed by the Centre which they feel will work against their interests. The proposed tractor rally by Karnataka farmers is planned to start from the Nice Road junction on Tumkur Road and cover 45 km before ending at Freedom Park, in the very heart of Bengaluru. If the rally is allowed, it could cause a major disruption in city traffic.
City cops have their hands full
The Bengaluru police have already received several applications for the rally but are yet to take a final call in the matter. “Several organisations have submitted applications and we are considering them. We are also holding talks with farmers’ leaders since the last 3 days about the proposed tractor rally. Nothing has been decided yet as we have to maintain the law and order situation in the entire city on January 26 for Republic Day celebrations. A decision will be taken shortly,” City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant told TheBengaluruLive.
Entry points could turn choke points
With the proposed tractor rally starting from the Nice Road junction on Tumkur Road and ending 45 km away at Freedom Park, the biggest headache for the city police will be to ensure that normal traffic within the city is not affected even as traffic heading from the national highway into the city will add to the cops’ woes.
Tumkur Road is one of the busiest National Highways from where traffic enters Bengaluru city via Goraguntepalya Junction, Yeshwantpur, Mehkri Circle and Palace Road. All four entry points could get clogged if the police fail to chalk out an effective traffic management strategy.