City buses parked near Jamshedpur Eye Hospital on Sakchi Main Road on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Catch Sakchi Main Road as a multi-tasker bus stop and temporary parking lot for JNNURM city bus, and of course, an arterial road. And get caught in the traffic jam that stretches till Straight Mile Road or Dhatkidih.
The lack of basic administrative vision designated bus stops and parking stands have made the hyped JNNURM city bus service a traffic bottleneck on Sakchi Main Road.
The double-lane road, each with a width of nearly 14 feet, witnesses traffic volume of nearly three lakh a day. The road links the commercial hub of Sakchi to Golmuri, Telco, Burmamines, Bistupur and Tata Steel.
Often, two or more city buses stop for 15 or 20 minutes on both the flanks of the busy main road near Jamshedpur Eye Hospital to pick up passengers.
The 100m stretch is the only link to Sakchi town bus stand, post office and Jama Masjid.
During peak hours usually between 12.30pm and 2pm, when schoolchildren return home, and 5.30pm and 6.30pm, when a bulk of office-goers come back JNNURM buses stopping to pick up passengers are enough to cause traffic snarls for over an hour.
On Tuesday morning, I was stuck in a jam for an hour. By the time I reached office it was lunch hour. I had to send a dengue sample for confirmatory test at the MGM college vector test lab in Dimna but could manage it only in the afternoon. Traffic snarl is a regular phenomenon on this stretch due to parking and stopping of city buses, said East Singhbhum Integrated Diseases Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officer Shahir Pal.
Joginder Singh, a Golmuri-based businessman, said traffic jams on this stretch had forced him off his SUV. He now hops on a two-wheeler.
A bike is faster. Forget comfort! he shrugs.
Traffic cops say they are at the receiving end.
We cannot take action against city buses for stopping on the road as the administration has given them permission, said East Singhbhum deputy superintendent of police (traffic) R.M. Sinha.
The district administration passed the buck to the state urban development.
It (JNNURM city bus) is a government project. We had to give temporary permission to the city buses to stop their vehicles to pick up passengers from Sakchi Main Road. Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee had sent a detailed proposal to state urban development in May this year, selecting Sakchi Old Bus Stand, near Sakchi roundabout, as an alternative site for parking city buses. But no response came from the state urban development, said additional district magistrate (law and order) Ajit Shanker.
Moral of the story: the city cant even manage a fleet of 15.