| Autorickshaws wait for passengers near Hanuman Temple adjacent to Patna Junction on Wednesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna, Nov. 30: The everyday ruckus surrounding Patna Junction owing to haphazard parking of autorickshaws could take some time to be solved.
While the city police have located a piece of land that the autorickshaws can use for parking purposes, The Telegraph has learnt that getting the land cleared for the same might invite a lot of trouble.
The Patna police today said a piece of land opposite Mahavir Sthan could be used by autorickshaws if the district administration gave its nod.
However, the land, which belongs to the Patna Municipal Corporation, is full of illegal encroachments, including shops, the removal of which can result in a lot of unrest, sources told The Telegraph.
Patna city superintendent of police (west) and Traffic SP Upendra Sharma said they inspected the Patna Junction area last evening for the same purpose.
“The police inspected the land and it looks good for parking purpose. It is a municipal land and a letter will be sent to the district administration and the commissioner regarding the use of the same for parking autorickshaws. It can also be converted into a planned parking space, which would give the station roundabout area a lot of air to breathe,” the officer told The Telegraph.
Trouble started on November 25 after the police directed traffic constables not to allow any autorickshaws, especially those heading towards the Gandhi Maidan area, to stop at the previous stand in front of the Buddha Smriti Park, north of the railway station. Following the implementation of the directive, many autorickshaw drivers were fined. On November 27, several drivers staged a four-hour protest against the move at the station roundabout that paralysed traffic at various areas of the city.
Autorickshaw drivers, however, are not entirely against the police plan.
“The plan is good but there are a number of roadblocks at present. Government work takes a lot of time and more importantly, the proposed plot of land has been encroached upon because of which there is not much free space. The administration first has to remove these, which might cause a lot of unrest. On the whole, the entire process is certain to take a lot of time,” Sambhu, an autorickshaw driver plying near Patna Junction told The Telegraph.
Commuters said the autorickshawss parked along the station roundabout posed a problem.
“The whole place remains cramped for space because of the parked autorickshaws throughout the day. Traffic jams are a regular phenomenon because the autorickshaw drivers park wherever they want. The cop move to restructure the place and provide parking space appears to be good. We hope the entire thing happens fast,” Atul Kumar, a Didarganj resident, said.
Even autorickshaw associations welcomed the move.
Raj Kumar Jha, the general secretary of Bihar State Auto Drivers’ Association and president of the Patna District Auto Drivers’ Association said there was a lack of co-ordination between them and the district administration.
“The idea for parking space on the proposed land appears to be good but the administration should implement it fast. Earlier, we used to meet the administration officials often, where a number of things were discussed. But they have stopped that of late,” he said.