Ranchi’s traffic SP Rajiv Ranjan on Friday faced what commoners have been putting up with every day in the run-up to Durga Puja — overcrowded streets and never-ending snarls.
The only difference was that while Ranjan was stuck for barely 10 minutes on Harmu Bypass, the ordeal is far more prolonged for the public. However, it was enough for the senior police officer to declare that he would seek more personnel to streamline traffic.
The declaration came a day after Jharkhand High Court directed the Ranchi district administration, the municipal body and the traffic police to decongest city arteries by facilitating parking on school and college grounds during the festive season.
“I will write to the deputy inspector-general today itself to support us with an additional force of 275 constables to manage traffic in the city. Without more manpower, the situation cannot be handled,” Ranjan, who had to wait in the snarl near Kishoreganj Chowk around 2.30pm, said.
On normal days, around 200 to 250 constables man movement of vehicles. The extra hands will be required from October 9 to 15.
“We will require more personnel from the day the idol deities are taken to Puja pandals till immersion. All major pujas will be asked to immerse the idols on October 14 or latest by October 15,” he said.
Asked about parking arrangements that need to be made in keeping with the high court’s order, he said, “Ranchi Municipal Corporation is the appropriate authority to speak on this.”
He, however, conceded that more parking space was required to ease traffic, which is, otherwise, moving in a snail’s pace manner.
“Main Road, Ratu Road, Doranda et al have been swamped with Puja shoppers,” Ranjan said.
Ranchi Municipal Corporation chief executive officer Dipankar Panda said he was on leave and was not aware of the court’s directive.
Panda, however, admitted that additional parking arrangements were a necessity around the festive season and a meeting would be held after he joined office on Monday. “We will definitely abide by the court’s diktat,” he promised.