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Smooth sail for capital...
...snarl for Jamshedpur

The common public, invariably the greatest sufferer of any political rally, had a smooth sail for most part of Sunday in Ranchi, thanks to efficient management of crowds by both the railways and the local traffic police.

Although BJP supporters heading to Dhurwa grounds for Narendra Modi’s Vijay Sankalp Rally swamped Hatia station and roads alike, there was no major chaos or disruption of traffic mainly because of proper planning.

Five special trains ferrying BJP workers and supporters were supposed to pull in at Hatia at 4am, 5.35am, 6.20am, 7am and 9.15am, but the fog delayed the arrivals by one to four hours.

“But we didn’t have any problem as we dedicated one platform — No. 1 — exclusively to the special trains. Both at Hatia and Ranchi stations, we opened all gates,” said a senior railway officer.

At Ranchi station, where many passengers alighted, around 25 CCTV cameras were made operational on Sunday. “Installation of CCTV cameras is under progress at Ranchi station. They are scheduled to go live from January. For today, we made special arrangements,” he added.

As for the traffic, buses and rally vehicles were routed via outer ring roads leading directly to Dhurwa and Hatia. “It helped that it was a Sunday. Normal public stayed away and we ensured all vehicles kept moving,” said traffic DSP.

But the morning does not necessarily show the day. Soon after the rally ended, all exit points from Dhurwa grounds suddenly turned chaotic as people rushed back to their destinations from all directions on foot and in vehicles.

Jamshedpur, in contrast, bore a major brunt of the rally effect. Movement of vehicles was disrupted for about three hours from 7am on NH-33, as BJP workers headed to Ranchi. Heavy vehicles and long-distance buses were stuck in queues stretching as far as 8km to 10km on the stretch between Pardih and Chandil.

“Seeing the long queue of vehicles, we had thought that an accident had taken place. Later, we were told that the congestion was due to BJP supporters who were heading for Ranchi,” said bus passenger Arvind Dubey.

Normal traffic on the highway could be restored only after 10am.