Cars and two-wheelers mock a no-parking signboard in Bistupur on Sunday. (Bhola Prasad)
In Jamshedpur, rules are meant to be broken. That’s the writing on the wall, er streets.
Despite designated parking zones, Bistupur Main Road remains a mess with commuters and cars jostling for space, thanks to rampant violation of traffic rules. Last month, the traffic department, along with Tata Steel subsidiary Jusco, painted no parking signage with special light-reflective paint at night on a particular 350m stretch of the artery.
But four-wheelers and bikes have simply turned a blind eye to the fiat and park almost anywhere on the road. In contrast, the four earmarked parking zones — one more is in the offing — in the area lie almost empty all day.
“We have taken all possible steps to inculcate road sense among residents. But it seems that they are not simply willing to co-operate. People here just don’t want to walk more and prefer to park right on the roads, stone’s throw from their destinations,” fumed deputy superintendent of police (traffic) R.M. Sinha.
The senior officer rightly pointed out that earlier, people used to complain about low visibility of No Parking signs.
“The traffic department and Jusco undertook efforts to paint such signages with special light-reflective paints. The civic body also erected three-feet-high iron grilles on this snarl-prone stretch, but commuters have been blatantly ignoring these instructions,” he said.
Manpower crunch in the traffic department is one of the reasons as to why police have failed to keep an eye on the violators.
A lone sub-inspector cannot manage the entire area. Junior officers are not interested in such a job as they often complain about high-handedness of some influential people. According to them the administration has tried its best to streamline the traffic scenario and now all depended on a little co-operation from the commuters.
When asked, a commuter, who had parked his car in a no-parking area, he said that it did not make any sense to walk unnecessarily.
“I had some work at one of the pharmacies and it took me just 15 minutes. I do not see any reason why I should park my bike at an inconvenient distance. People should not park their bikes or vehicles for long hours,” said Ramendra Singh, a commuter on Bistupur Main Road.
But, Bistupur is not the only commercial hub battling parking pangs.
Sakchi is worse. However, here the district administration must share the responsibility, as they have not yet earmarked any parking area in the region.
The administration has sent a proposal to Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) so that it can come up with a parking place in front of Jamshedpur Eye Hospital. “There is a park that is lying unutilised. We want to convert it into a parking zone and have sent a proposal to JNAC for approval. If the civic body says yes, we can extend the area and create a parking lot. There is another suggestion to block a part of the road (in front of The Blues restaurant) and include it within the parking zone. This way, the stretch will be wider,” Sinha added.