|Trucks swamping the road along Ranchi Lake is a common picture in the absence of a dedicated Transport Nagar
in the capital. Pictures by Hardeep Singh
The nearest residential area is Old Commissioners’ Compound. Vinod Pandey, a senior citizen, said that the lake was being subjected to “hooliganism”.
“Earlier, we used to stroll along the banks every evening. Nowadays, heavy vehicles block our way. Some local hoodlums come for wasooli (collection of levy) and I often see truckers scuffling with them. The area has become unsafe,” the resident said
Ratan Kumar, a resident of Kishoreganj, regularly takes the Aughar Baba Ashram Path to drop and pick his five-year-old daughter from school. According to him, commuting has become difficult and time-consuming.
“The heavy vehicles occupy half of the road. It is very difficult for two vehicles to cross the stretch at a time. Anyone who tries to overtake, will take a plunge. My daughter’s school starts at 8.45am. Earlier, I used to start from home, 2km away, at 8.40am and reach within minutes. Now, it takes at least 15 minutes,” Kumar said
|A garbage dump doubles up as an informal parking stand
Ashok Gupta, who owns a plywood shop on SN Ganguly Road, near Old Commissioners’ Compound, said unauthorised stationing of trucks was affecting business.
“I supply plywood to many construction sites. The delivery vehicles take the lake road. These days, because of snarls and wasooli, they have increased the rate by Rs 100,” he said
Truckers: No choice
Drivers and helpers of these consignment trucks mostly come from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Surat. They rue the lack of a Transport Nagar like other cities.
“In most places, we find Transport Nagar. Even Jamshedpur has a Transport Nagar in Mango. If such facilities were available here, why would we park near the lake? If people feel unsafe because of us, we don’t feel very safe either,” said Paramjeet Singh, a truck driver
Deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey said he was aware of the issue.
“I have myself travelled through the lake road and know its problems. I would like to inform all that a plot near Sukurhutu in Kanke has been identified for Transport Nagar. We have been granted Rs 9 crore by the urban development department for land acquisition, which will take some time after which work will begin,” he said.
On whether his administration would make any alternative arrangement for trucks till then, Choubey added that he would give it a thought.