“When is the volvo to Bangalore?”
“2 o’clock saar”
“How much time will it take?”
“5 hours to reach the outskirts… further than that depends on your luck saar”
I had been warned… someone in Tirupati in fact told me to cathc a bus which either reaches around midnight or early in the morning. I laughed it off, but when you hear a transport corporation’s representative giving such an estimate… it is something to get worried about.
The Karnatka State Road Transport Corporation volvo (Rs. 325) started from Tirupati at 2:00 p.m. sharp (i.e. 2:30 p.m. according to “IST”). The road to Bangalore was smooth and the kilometers slipped by easily. 7:00 p.m. – the bus was 30 km away from Bangalore – a lucky day, perhaps! Well, at Hoskote I had hit the first JAM. It took around half n hour to get through that one. And wham! another JAM at Krishnarajpuram. I ultimately reached my home at 9:30 p.m.
Now, let’s put that in perspective – 210 km in 4.5 hrs, 30km in 2.5 hrs!
Now lets compare the timings with my hometown, Mumbai. I decided to ask my friend who travels by car everyday to his factory which is at the outskirts of the city. To give you guys a bit of background info – there are 3 main roads to enter Mumbai – the Western Express highway, Eastern Express Highway, and the Mumbai-Goa/Poona Highway (Note: there is nothing express about any of the two highways mentioned here).
Instead of taking a 30 km limit, I felt it would be more practical to measure the time taken from the outskirts of the city – that’s where the traffic really starts. So I asked my friend how much time it will take from Virar on WE Highway, Thane on EE Highway, and Panvel on the Goa/Poona highway. My friend informed me that at peak hours, it would take around 2 hrs from Virar, around 1.5 hours from Thane, and 1 hour from Panvel to reach the approx mid-point of the city – Sion/Bandra.
Of course, in Mumbai the trouble is not traveling in the North-South direction… traveling from East to West and vice versa is a nightmare. But that will require another post altogether.