Vehicles remain stranded as pipe-laying work is underway on NH-2 in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Shaheen Khan, a final-year student, was worried that she would not be able to catch Babadham Express from Ranchi railway station at 1.30pm
nAshok Sinha, who was on his way to visit his ailing father at Gurunanak Hospital on Station Road, was also not sure whether he would be able to make it on time
Shaheen and Sinha were not alone. Scores of commuters were stuck between Booty More and Karamtoli Chowk on NH-2 for almost three hours from 11am on Tuesday.
Reason? A massive traffic snarl triggered by pipe-laying work being carried out by the state drinking water and sanitation department.
Workers engaged by the department began work in the morning, digging up a huge portion of the road to lay new underground water pipes. But instead of dumping the mud elsewhere, they left it on the roadside.
Making matters worse, they pumped out water from the pit on to the road, leaving the entire area slushy.
As the dumped mud and slush ate on to the road space, vehicles had a hard time negotiating the busy thoroughfare. While pedestrians tried to nudge their way through the chaos, two-wheelers, four-wheelers and autos were stranded for hours. There was only one traffic policeman, looking confused and clueless.
“My father is very serious. I took a half day’s leave as I need to be at the hospital. But I am stranded here for almost an hour and don’t know when I will reach the hospital,” Sinha rued.
Engineer-in-chief of drinking water and sanitation department Shardendu Narayan said: “Yes, pipe-laying work is going on in the area. I will try to contact the local officer and get details of what happened.”
Executive engineer of Booty division Ramadheen Prasad, however, said: “It will take another two days to pump out the water. Pipe-laying work on this stretch will take another two months.”