| A snarl-free R-Block . Telegraph picture
The budget session of the Assembly is barely a few hours away and the residents are a worried lot anticipating the ritualistic travails of taking the R-Block gate.
Every time the House meets for a session, the R-Block gate is closed to keep away protesters from the Assembly and traffic is diverted through Income Tax roundabout. This leads to traffic snarls. With the budget session only a day away, the residents are again cringing at the thought of travelling through the stretch. The budget session will begin from Monday and continue till April 3.
“Whenever the R-block gate is closed, we land in a mess because there is no other way other than taking the long route to reach our respective destinations. The worst part is that we come to know about the closure of the gate on reaching the point only,” said Kumar Gaurav (34), a Kankerbagh resident.
“Once the gate is closed, I have to take another route to reach Ashiana, either through Chiraiyatand flyover or from Gandhi Maidan. But it takes lot of time. On several occasions, I have reached office late. The traffic police must come up with some effective alternative,” he added.
The opening of the third arm of Mithapur flyover (350m) for the public on August 14, 2012, was a welcome break for the residents. But the relief was short-lived. There was no change on the ground because commuters have to take a U-turn on reaching the R-Block gate.
Lalji Tola resident Ranjan Kumar (28) uses the Mithapur flyover quite often. “Many times I have got stuck in traffic snarls as the R-Block gate remains closed. It is like a nightmare.”
Whenever the Assembly session is on, several NGOs, social groups, independent organisations and unions stage dharnas and take out protest marches at the R-Block gate to draw maximum attention of the lawmakers. However, this ultimately causes much inconvenience for the commuters.
Once the R-block gate is closed, the pressure of traffic on Bailey Road automatically increases because all vehicles have to take the route to reach the western side of the city. Similarly, the vehicles have to use Bailey Road to reach the northern part. The closure of the gate also increases pressure on Station Road, Dakbungalow square, Income Tax roundabout, Hartali Mor, Bailey Road and Beer Chand Patel Marg.
Road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav has gone on record, saying that his department was working on a plan that entails extension of R-Block arm of Mithapur flyover. But it would take three years to complete the extension. Patna traffic superintendent of police Chandrika Prasad said: “We have held a meeting and decided to depute adequate traffic police over the flyover. They will divert the traffic from the flyover itself before the vehicles reach the R-Block gate. We hope the measure will minimise the traffic chaos.”