The welcome gate near Agrico traffic signal on Straight Mile Road on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Two giant gates erected by a puja organiser and the JVM have shrunk busy Straight Mile Road in the heart of Jamshedpur, leading to traffic snarls.
The temporary bamboo structures, which have come up at Sakchi and Agrico signals about 3 km apart, have slowed down traffic considerably.
On an average, more than 2 lakh vehicles cross the road every day and now, a mishap seems to be waiting to happen, complained residents.
At Sakchi, JVM workers had set up the 30-feet-high bamboo structure near Ramleela Ground to welcome party chief Babulal Marandi and Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar for a party meeting, which was held at Town Hall in Sidhgora on September 30.
More than three days have passed, but the gate still towers over the road. It has narrowed the road connecting Sakchi with Kasidih, Baradwari, Sitaramdera, Agrico and Sidhgora by nearly 6 feet.
The width of the road is 25 ft on this stretch.
“On Thursday morning, I was going to a medicine shop and was stuck in traffic for nearly half an hour. Vehicular movement was very slow due to congestion caused by the structure,” said Prashant Sarkhel, a resident of New Baradwari.
When asked, JVM East Singhbhum spokesperson Firoz Khan blamed the tent house contracted to put up the gates. “We had asked them to dismantle the gate within 24 hours of the programme. I will see to it that the structure is removed on Friday morning,” Khan said.
The condition of the Agrico traffic signal is worse.
Not only has the 35-feet-high gate, erected by Agrico Sarbajanin Durga Puja organisers, narrowed the road, it also obstructs traffic.
For, a scaffolding on the middle of the road supports the gate, which has reduced the road width from 30ft to 21ft.
Siddhartha Chakraborty (48), a resident of Sidhgora and a Tata Steel employee, narrowly missed being hit by a private bus near the signal. “I was going for duty around 7.30am on Wednesday on my bike. In a bid to avoid the bamboo scaffolding, a bus came too close to my bike. Had it hit me, I would have been thrown off,” he said.
Agrico puja committee general secretary Bhupender Singh said usually the gate was installed on Mahapanchami or Mahashasthi, but this year due to heavy rain, pandal decoration and painting work took a backseat.
“Workers from Bengal, therefore, wanted to finish the gate early. We accept it is causing problems for commuters, but we request them to give us time till the immersion,” said Singh.
Dhalbhum SDO Prem Ranjan said he was not aware of the gates, but promised to have them removed.