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Rush hour parking pangs

Unauthorised parking on Exhibition Road and Station Road amid construction of two key overbridges leaves professionals exhausted every morning even before they reach their workstations.

Vehicles parked haphazardly on the two arterial roads near the construction sites of new arm of the Chiraiyatand and Mithapur road overbridges trigger serpentine traffic snarls daily. Ever since the actual construction works on the project began in November last year, vehicles are mostly seen moving at a snail’s pace on Exhibition Road and Station Road.

Officials of Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited (BRPNNL), the executing agency for the twin flyover projects, claimed that the parking menace leads to obstruction in construction as well.

“We have taken only 4m of carriageway on the either side of the road and left 5m on both sides for vehicular movement. This is also not along the entire stretch of the road but only where the work is going on. However, many people park their vehicles near the construction site. This leads to further encroachment of the carriage way and obstruction to traffic. Even our vehicles get stuck at times because of haphazardly parked vehicles, leading to unnecessary delay in the work,” said a senior BRPNNL official.

Traffic superintendent of police Rajiv Mishra said he was planning to take action against the offenders soon. “We are aware of the situation at the flyover construction sites and modalities are being finalised for action against vehicles being parked there. We may use wheel locks and issue challans,” said Mishra.

Rinku Kumar, a resident of Exhibition Road, said: “Traffic police are seen at all the roundabouts but when it comes to illegal parking, they turn a blind eye. The vehicles are parked on both sides of the road, including the corners of the construction sites. The administration has stopped taking action against the people who park vehicles in the middle of the road. In the past three weeks, I have not found any policeman charging anyone for unauthorised parking.”

Businessman Rajeev Kumar Singh of Station Road echoed Rinku: “The traffic snarl has gradually affected my business. It is quite difficult for us to deliver services on time. The construction of the road overbridge has led to traffic menace. The traffic police do not take any step against the illegally parked vehicles on both sides of the road. This unauthorised parking leads to traffic jams for hours.”

The groundwork on the two flyover extension projects started in June last year after the state cabinet gave approval to the projects on January 30. The deadline for the projects having an estimated combined outlay of Rs 167.85 crore is December 2015. Both the flyovers are being constructed by Haryana-based SP Singla Constructions Pvt. Ltd.

The technology being used for the construction of these flyovers is termed “segmental bridge”. It is basically made by joining together small sections of spans using steel support system. It is ideal for those places where it is difficult to transport large sections of concrete. It reduces disruption to normal flow of traffic during the construction period.

Once ready, the network of the two new flyovers with the existing Chiraiyatand and Mithapur railway overbridges would allow people to travel from R-Block to Gandhi Maidan without facing the heavy traffic on Station and Exhibition roads.

It would reduce the travel time considerably for commuters going towards Gandhi Maidan, Kankerbagh and Mithapur bus stand also.

Sources in the BRPNNL said some new traffic arrangements would come into effect once these flyovers were opened for vehicular movement.

“Bhattacharya Road would be made one-way for vehicles coming from New Dakbungalow Road. Jamal Road, on the other hand, would be made one-way for vehicles coming from Kankerbagh and Kadamkuan,” said the BRPNNL official.

Lack of proper parking arrangements across the city has only made things worse. In a meeting held on December 16 last year, the empowered standing committee of Patna Municipal Corporation approved a pay-and-park system to be implemented at 51 locations on 17 roads across the city to ensure parking of over 1,600 vehicles with parking charges of Rs 10 for the first hour and Rs 5 per hour thereafter.


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