The road construction department has taken two years to wake up to the need of median dividers along the Gandhi Maidan road to prevent accidents.
In October 2010, the district administration had asked the department to construct dividers after a bus crushed Reema Gupta, a Class XII student of St Xavier’s High School, next to Patna district magistrate’s residence, under its wheels on July 17, 2010.
Last week, the department started constructing 2.5feet-high dividers of concrete on the Biscomaun Building-Children’s Park stretch along Gandhi Maidan.
“Work on construction of dividers started last week and is on right now. They will start in front of the State Bank of India and continue till Children’s Park. The work will take at least a month. The dividers will prevent people from jaywalking and limit the speed of vehicles,” Chandra Mohan Mishra, the executive engineer (new capital division) of the road construction department told The Telegraph.
The road, which leads to the busy Kargil Chowk, faces congestion daily. “Haphazard movement of vehicles makes the road chaotic because of absence of dividers. They would limit the speed of vehicles and would also ensure that they follow lane driving. Traffic cops are posted on the spot all the time. Moreover, various schools post their employees on the road when the schools give over and children step out of the gates to catch buses and other forms of transport,” said another department official.
After the accident, the road construction department had announced the construction of speed breakers first in front of the school but then changed the plan to dividers. Thereafter, department officials thought of laying rumble strips on the road near the school. “There were several changes in the plan. But things didn’t work out. Traffic police sent some letters to the department enquiring the status of the project. As a temporary measure, loose dividers were placed along the median and a rope was tied. Traffic policemen were posted too,” the official said.
Executive engineer Mishra said the divider would have a cutting in front of Gandhi Maidan’s VIP gate.
“There will be a gap left for people to pass between the dividers in front of the main gate of the Gandhi Maidan. Other than that, there won’t be any gaps. The dividers near the school would be shorter in size, around one foot each so that the students and the parents can cross over easily. Providing wider gaps between the dividers in front of the school is risky and there is always a chance of a vehicle flouting traffic rules and passing through them,” another department official said.