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New lane turns speed corridor for commuters

The R-Block lane of Mithapur flyover has come as a big relief to commuters.

Punaichak resident Akhilesh Kumar Dubey had to leave home at least 45 minutes early for his office on Frazer Road. He had to negotiate snarls from Patna Women’s College up to the Dakbungalow intersection. He might not need to any more now.

Dubey, an officer with Life Insurance Corporation of India, did not face the usual bottlenecks on Bailey Road on Friday.

The R-Block lane of the Mithapur flyover, which was opened for public on August 14, was his saviour. On Friday, he had reached work 15 minutes ahead of time.

He said: “The new flyover has certainly eased the pressure on Bailey Road. People willing to go to Kankerbagh or the Mithapur bus stand from the western parts of the capital will now avoid Station Road or Dakbungalow Road. Instead, they will prefer to go Karbigahiya via the R-Block flyover. This will not only save commuting time but will also cut down at least half a kilometre of travelling distance.”

For Sanjiv Kumar, a senior sales manager with a Mumbai-based private company, driving on the busy Bailey Road is a new experience now. He has been reaching his office near the Dakbungalow intersection from his home at Ashiana Nagar without any problem. “Usually it takes about 40-45 minutes to reach Dakbungalow from Ashiana Nagar, around 8km-9km away. But now I reach office in just 20 minutes. The flyover has saved me both fuel and time,” he said.

Gardanibagh resident Satish Kumar hoped that the flyover would continue to provide relief to commuters for whom traffic snarls had become a perennial problem. “The people heaved a sigh of relief after the R-Block lane of Mithapur flyover was opened for public. But many people still don’t have any idea about this lane. They will start using it once they become familiar with this lane,” said 35-year-old Kumar, a financial advisor.

He said the new lane of the flyover would be a boon for the residents of Jakkanpur, Mithapur, Kankerbagh, Rajendra Nagar, Jai Prakash Nagar, Kadamkuan and Rajendra Nagar. “Those willing to come to the Secretariat or other government offices like income tax or accountant-general office, the Mithapur flyover lane will be the right choice,” he said.

Patna High Court advocate Jagdish Prasad, however, said the new lane of the flyover would only benefit commuters if encroachments at the Karbigahiya-end were removed.

The Rajendra Nagar resident said the road near Karbigahiya remained chock-a-block for most part of the day. “Under such circumstances, the new R-Block lane is not going to provide any relief to commuters unless the Karbigahiya Road is made free from illegal encroachments. This lane will have little impact on the traffic bottlenecks of the town,” he said.

“As the road near Karbigahiya is congested, people living in Rajendra Nagar, Bahadurpur, Kankerbagh and Kadamkuan (eastern parts of Patna) don’t use the Chiraiyatand overbridge to reach the Secretariat. As a result, they have to face heavy traffic jam at several points, including Dakbungalow and Income Tax roundabout. Traffic on this stretch should be regulated for maximum benefit,” he added.

Still, the most popular view after the flyover opened is that the R-Block lane has eased the pressure on Bailey Road. Built at a cost of Rs 12 crore, the R-Block flyover has made it convenient for people to commute between the southern and northern parts of the city. It is for all to see, only three days after it was opened.

“Travelling to the secretariat from the southern part of the city was a nightmare for many people. Now they don’t have to face such a problem,” said 38-year-old Alok Kumar who lives in Kankerbagh. He was all for using the new lane to avoid traffic bottlenecks.

The new flyover lane has started paying dividends to police as well. Patna superintendent of police (traffic) Chandrika Prasad said the rush of commuters on Bailey Road during office hours was less than before the R-Block lane opened on Tuesday. The number of policemen regulating traffic near Income Tax roundabout has also come down.

He said: “The new lane has reduced the travelling distance between Kankerbagh and Secretariat. We hope people will use the new flyover lane. This will certainly ease pressure on Bailey Road.”