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Ban to boost bridge traffic

Thela (tricycle carts), rickshaws and tonga (horse-drawn carriage) would no longer be allowed to ply on Mahatma Gandhi Setu from December 2.

Heavy goods vehicles like trucks would also not be allowed on the 5.575km bridge in the peak morning and evening hours.

A decision in this regard was taken by the Patna district administration after a review of the frequent snarls on the bridge by chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday.

About the decisions on upcoming regulations on the snarl-prone bridge over the Ganga that connects north and south Bihar, district magistrate N. Saravana Kumar said on Thursday: “It has been observed that slow-moving smaller vehicles like thela, rickshaws and tonga obstruct the flow of traffic on the bridge. We have decided that such vehicles would not be allowed on the bridge for ensuring smooth traffic movement.”

According to traffic management principles, it is said that traffic moves at the speed of slowest vehicle. In real terms, if there is a thela on the road then the vehicles behind it would also move at its speed until it clears the road.

Apart from smaller vehicles, the movement of bigger goods-carrying vehicles is also going to be regulated from the first week of December.

“Heavy goods vehicle would not be allowed on the bridge between 8am and 11am and 4pm and 7pm. Steps are also being taken to park the vehicles at the identified spots prior to coming to the Setu during the peak hours,” said Kumar. He added that the state transport department would also issue public notices regarding the new traffic regulations.

Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said: “The additional forces provided to Patna police for traffic regulation on the Setu would be deployed at strategic locations and I would monitor whether the officers are discharging their duties properly. We have also initiated a drive against encroachment from Fatuha to Zero Miles via Didarganj.”

On Wednesday, a team of senior officers of the state transport department, and Patna and Vaishali districts took stock of the traffic bottlenecks on the Gandhi Setu.

Sources said the chief minister asked the officers of the transport and the road construction departments to chalk out a detailed strategy to permanently get rid of the traffic congestion on the bridge.

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