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Undivided & unsafe on capital roads

- Vanishing delineators give vehicles a crash course in free run

Pop quiz: How to mock road safety?

Answer: Mow down delineators, speed at will

Ranchi’s transport arteries are chaos personified of late with absence of dividers and delineators (row of flexible rubber dividers instead of one concrete stretch) unleashing road rage like never before.

Two college students speeding along the wrong lane on a bike on Wednesday morning crashed into a car coming from the opposite direction at Jail Chowk More. They even abused the person at the wheel who was well within his lane driving limits.

In yet another incident, a middle-aged woman suffered bruises on her hands and legs when a biker overtaking vehicles through the wrong lane knocked her down while she was trying to cross Circular Road.

Roughly, around a dozen such accidents take place every day as both private and public vehicles (read buses and auto-rickshaws) run amok on the capital’s streets, mowing down delineators to make their way ahead. None of these minor mishaps get reported and hence, police have no records to set right.

“The biggest nuisance on roads are autos, buses and bikes. Watch any stretch of road for just five minutes and you will see how they run over delineators, damage them and forcibly take the wrong route. In fact, so rampant is the rampage that delineators — and with that the concept of lane driving — have almost vanished from Ranchi’s roads. Traffic snarls are routine,” said Karamtoli businessman Shivam Sinha, a frequent victim of the chaos.

There is no respite for those who commute on foot either. “Where is the space to stand or walk? The roadsides are occupied by parking rogues and what is not is riddled with potholes. Garbage and drains leave little room for proper pavements. The best thing to do is say your prayers before stepping out of home,” said Tharpakhna resident Sudhir Kumar, who runs a coaching institute in Bariatu.

Traffic DSP R.N. Singh admitted all the problems, but maintained that constables on duty worked hard to streamline traffic while dearth of civic sense among commuters remained a major issue.

“The dividers and delineators on roads are for public convenience. Unfortunately, errant drivers have damaged most of them. We try to take action against those who violate the law, but it is difficult to keep tabs on all rogue drivers,” he said.

Singh added that at a recent meeting, they had decided to send a requisition to the state public works department for new delineators. “The problem will be fixed soon,” he promised.

PWD executive engineer Umesh Kumar Sinha, however, contended that they were yet to get any such requisition.

So, till the time our traffic mandarins make up their mind and act, we have only luck to bank on to avoid mishaps.