The gates on Straight Mile Road near Agrico traffic signal and (above) Baradwari on Friday. Pictures by Bhola Prasad
Welcome to Jamshedpur’s chaos corridor.
That is precisely what four giant gates along a 3km stretch of Straight Mile Road seem to say to peak-hour commuters.
On any given day, more than 200,000 vehicles cross the stretch that connects Sidhgora to Sakchi. The gates — three erected by a political party and one announcing the opening of a community hall — narrow the 20ft to 30ft wide road by at least 8ft, leading to routine snarls.
Worst affected are commuters from densely populated residential areas like Kasidih, Baradwari, Bhalubasa, Sitaramdera, Agrico and Baridih, which are connected by the Straight Mile Road.
According to victims of congestion, one of the gates has been raised right next to the Agrico traffic lights, blocking signal view for drivers. It has led to several minor accidents in the past few weeks.
Shankar Nag (48), a resident of Bhalubasa, said he narrowly escaped a fatal accident near Agrico on Thursday. “A three-wheeler scraped my bike and I lost balance. Fortunately, I was not in high speed. I suffered bruises on my hands and feet,” he said.
This nuisance of a welcome gate at Agrico announces the inauguration of a community hall — Son Mandap — built under the patronage of Jamshedpur East MLA and BJP leader Raghubar Das.
Though the programme was organised on November 21, the gate continues to stand tall for weeks thereafter.
Das admitted the problem, but blamed it on the tent dealer. “We had asked them to dismantle the gate. They seem busy because of the wedding season. The gate will be removed soon,” the MLA said.
The three other gates are sponsored by JVM, announcing a party workers’ meet scheduled on Sunday (December 16) at Birsanagar. It will be attended by Babulal Marandi and other senior leaders.
JVM district president Firoze Khan said the gates were meant to welcome party leaders and not to disrupt traffic flow. “We will visit the spot tomorrow (Saturday) and remove the gates if they are causing snarls,” he added.
DSP city (traffic) R.M. Sinha said it was upto the civic administration to initiate action against road-hog structures erected without permission.
“We are here to ensure traffic rules. Only the administration can issue a directive to dismantle welcomes gates like these,” he added.
Dhalbhum subdivisional officer Subodh Kumar expressed ignorance about the road-hog gates, but promised to look into the matter.
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