Illegally parked vehicles on Straight Mile Road near Sakchi roundabout on Tuesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Encroachment and unauthorised parking are the main reason behind the perennial traffic snarls on the Straight Mile Road stretch passing through Sakchi Market, especially near the roundabout.
While vendors place their pushcarts on the roadsides, most shopkeepers have extended their canopies onto the thoroughfare. Unauthorised parking further narrows down the road that witnesses passage of over 2 lakh vehicles daily.
Besides private vehicles, buses and auto-rickshaws ferrying passengers from Sakchi to Baradwari, Kasidih, Bhalubasa, Sitaramdera, Agrico, Sidhgora and Baridih get caught in the congestion.
Employee of a Sakchi-based bank C.S. Raju said he was a frequent sufferer.
“Road ke dono taraf log gadi khadi kar dete aur thelewale bhi dukan laga dete hain jiske chalte road bahut sakra ho jata hain. Bus aur tempo ki lambi katar lag jati hain aur gadi chalana bahut mushkil hota yaha par. Traffic jam mein phasne ke bad pura schedule gadbada jata hai. (Vehicles are parked and vendors place their carts on both sides of the road. There are long queues of buses, auto-rickshaws. If I get stuck in the traffic jam, my entire day’s schedule gets disrupted),” he said.
Traders are also feeling the blues.
“Travelling on this stretch becomes a nightmare during peak hours. The snarls last for more than an hour. Customers often avoid our shops and prefer relatively jam-free shopping areas,” said Sudeep Bhowmick, partner at Bhowmick Jewellers on Straight Mile Road.
Traffic department expressed its helplessness.
“Our constables are on duty, but you cannot blame them for the snarls. It is humanly impossible to make the road congestion free till encroachment and illegal parking are taken care of. The district administration has to act. We will provide them protection if they carry out anti-encroachment drives,” said traffic DSP R.M. Sinha.
District officials had little to offer other than promises. “I will consult Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee and initiate steps to remove traffic bottlenecks,” assured Dhalbhum SDO Prem Ranjan.
The administration had carried out a massive anti-encroachment drive in June-July 2013.
However, the situation returned back to square one in first quarter of 2014.