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Welcome, gates of traffic pain

Giant welcome arches put up by a social outfit on two vital arteries in Sakchi for a festival on January 11 have still not been dismantled, proving to be nuisance for city commuters.

Rani Sati Seva Sangh set up a gate on Pipeline Road, Sakchi, and five more on Straight Mile Road between Bagicha nursery and Keenan Stadium.

The sangh had erected these welcome gates to greet devotees for Kalash Yatra from Bistupur Ram Mandir to Agrasen Bhawan in Sakchi as part of the 31st Basant Mahotsava on January 11.

Although 10 days have passed since the festival got over, the organisation is yet to dismantle the gates.

On a given day, over 1.5 lakh vehicles cross the busy Pipeline Road that is dotted with three schools — Motilal Nehru Public School, Rajendra Vidyalaya and Baug-E-Jamsheed.

A long bamboo pole on the middle of the road supports the structure — which has eaten up road space by almost six feet — causing severe inconvenience to commuters. They have to negotiate vehicles to avoid collisions with the wooden pole.

Sudhir Kumar, a Sakchi-based trader who takes Pipeline Road daily to drive his son to and fro Baug-E-Jamsheed school by car, narrowly escaped an accident on Monday morning.

“Due to fog and poor visibility, a biker in front of me noticed the pole at the last moment. In a bid to avoid it, he swerved to his right. I immediately slammed the brakes of my car. It was a bad jerk, but had I failed to act on my reflexes, my vehicle would have hit the biker,” said Kumar.

Five more bamboo gates have been set up one after another on Straight Mile Road between Bagicha nursery and Keenan Stadium, narrowing down the artery by almost two feet.

Traffic snarls are a common sight on this road that links Sakchi to Northern Town and sees a lakh commuters.

Sangh general secretary Munna Agarwal blamed the tent dealer. “We asked the tent dealer to remove all gates on January 12. But he told us that due to Tusu festival (Makar Sankranti), labourers had gone on leave,” Agarwal said.

Principal of Motilal Nehru Public School Anshu Tiwary, however, doubted the feasibility of erecting gates on busy roads. “At least, district officials should ensure the gates are removed immediately after the event,” Tiwary said.

Dhalbhum subdivisional officer Prem Ranjan, but when told about the matter, promised to get the gates removed.