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NaMo meet hits traffic

Traffic movement went haywire on Thursday for about two hours from 10.30am on roads passing along Gopal Maidan in Bistupur, the venue for BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi’s rally.

The situation aggravated owing to negligible presence of traffic constables and other policemen. Commuters, especially office-goers, faced inconvenience because of barricades and diversions on arteries. Also, randomly parked vehicles and thousands of supporters waiting outside the green lung caused congestion on the approach roads to Bistupur roundabout.

Calcutta-based Shivani Singh and her elderly mother, who reached Jamshedpur to visit a relative, were among many who suffered traffic blues.

“We never knew that we will have to face such pain to reach our relative’s house on Shanti Hari Tower (an apartment near Gopal Maidan). The auto-rickshaw we hired from Tatanagar station dropped us near the armoury grounds roundabout. We had to walk for half a kilometre to reach our destination,” rued Singh.

Raja Sen, who works with a private insurance firm, got stuck near the General Post Office in Bistupur. “I was supposed to meet a client at 11.30am. Realising that the roads are blocked, I parked my bike at Bistupur police station, walked for a while and took an auto-rickshaw,” Sen said.

The situation started improving around 12.30pm when party supporters waiting outside Gopal Maidan, were let in.

“We never witnessed such chaos. The Maidan plays host to fairs, but today’s jam was unprecedented,” said Satvir Singh, a resident of Bistupur.

Traffic DSP R.M. Sinha, who was escorting Modi, said most policemen had been sent to places that went to polls on Thursday. “We were left with less manpower. But, adequate number of policemen were deployed outside Gopal Maidan to regulate traffic,” he said.