A crane tows away a four-wheeler during the anti-encroachment drive in Sakchi on Sunday. (Bhola Prasad)
A district police team on Sunday removed encroachments and vehicles from Mango-Sakchi Road near Hati Ghora Temple, a stretch that has become extremely accident prone of late.
Led by SSP Akhilesh Kumar Jha, the team razed as many as half-a-dozen cattle sheds and removed as many illegal garages from the road which has witnessed 11 deaths since January this year.
Equipped with riot gear and trucks, the policemen started the operation around 1pm, and within two hours, the stretch facing Hati Ghora Temple was clear of encroachments. The officers on duty not only took away cattle on trucks that they had brought along, but also towed away defunct trucks, dumpers and other vehicles that had been lying at the roadside workshops.
The SSP said the police team targeted the road leading to the Subernarekha river to ensure that the paths to the ghats where Chhath prayers will be offered on Monday evening and Tuesday morning were clear of encroachments.
“On inspecting the area, we found there were several cattle sheds blocking passage to the ghats. As they would have proved to be obstacles for devotees, we immediately decided to remove them all,” said the senior SP.
The cattle that were taken away were sent to a shelter in Parsudih.
“After removing the cattle sheds, we approached the garages and workshops beside Hati Ghora Temple. Though the garages were not unauthorised, the garage owners were repairing the vehicles by encroaching on the road, which has of late been mishap prone. We picked up all the vehicles,” Jha said.
The senior police officer said he had ordered action against the garage owners.
“We penalised the garage owners by resorting to spot fine and decided to pass an order against such operators to shift their garages to some other place,” he added.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Jha pointed out that on the stretch of road along Hati Ghora Temple, drivers had a tendency to speed and there was very little space left for two-wheelers. Deputy superintendent of police (traffic) Rakesh Mohan Sinha and Sakchi officer-in-charge inspector Bijay Kumar participated in the drive in which over 50 policemen were engaged.
Notably, The Telegraph had recently pointed out the vulnerability of Sakchi-Mango Road, and how accidents take place there.