| An autorickshaw halts on Fraser Road in Patna to pick up a passenger on Friday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
The ambitious “pay-and-park” project of the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) would be finalised within a month.
Among the parking zones, some will be designated autorickshaw parking bays.
Patna traffic superintendent of police Rajeev Mishra said they were coordinating with the PMC in connection with the parking project. The problem of autorickshaws halting at any place to pick or drop passengers was expected to end soon.
The officer added that until the plan was finalised and implemented, an active people’s participation and help was necessary to iron out the problem.
“The Patna police are coordinating with the PMC in this connection. We do understand that the haphazard halting of autorickshaws to pick and drop passengers is one of the main reasons behind traffic woes. The PMC has identified spots that will be turned into designated autorickshaw stoppages. Once things fall in line, we would not allow autorickshaws to drive rashly,” the officer said.
Sources in the PMC said a few locations earmarked under the proposed pay-and-park scheme would be used only for autorickshaw parking.
“A joint survey with the Patna traffic police of the already identified 51 locations on 17 roads across the city would be done in a couple of days. It has been proposed that some of the locations would be used specifically for autorickshaw parking. The tenders for selecting the agencies to look after the pay-and-park service would be finalised within a month,” said a senior official of PMC.
The official added that a definite number of autorickshaw stands has not been decided yet.
“However, the facility will be helpful for drivers and commuters alike. The zones would be selected in such a way that every area of Patna has a stand so that commuters don’t have to walk for long to reach an autorickshaw stand,” the traffic SP said.
Till then, commuters would have to cooperate with the police and follow instructions to avoid traffic jams.
During peak hours in the morning and in the afternoon, people waiting for autorickshaws are requested not to stand near the roundabouts to avail an autorickshaw. With people standing, the autorickshaw drivers tend to crowd near the roundabouts and traffic movement gets affected because of the same.
For the time being, people are requested to stand 100m from the roundabouts to avail an autorickshaw. Once this happens, the movement of traffic near the roundabouts will remain more or less normal. At present, there are few options and autorickshaws tend to move haphazardly, because there are no designated stops for them. “But once the plan takes shape, they will not be allowed to stand anywhere they want to,” the traffic SP said.
The daily commuters were, however, not impressed with the police-PMC initiative.
“We have been hearing about many such plans but nothing happens. The auto drivers ply rashly and then stop suddenly at a place resulting in jams and accidents. The two government departments should seriously work towards solving the problem,” said Nilesh Kumar, a resident of Boring Road.