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Bridge breathes free after snarl quick fix

Commuters on the Mahatma Gandhi Setu on Tuesday heaved a sigh of relief, a day after the bridge witnessed heavy traffic snarls.

Though vehicles crawled, there was no report of traffic congestion, thanks to the initiative of the district officials of Patna and Vaishali.

A number of policemen was deployed at strategic locations on the Patna and Hajipur sides to ensure smooth flow of vehicles on the 5.575km-long bridge, the link between the state capital and north Bihar.

The deployment of the police worked as a deterrent to the drivers, who used to overtake in their absence.

“There was no jam between Gaighat in Patna and Ganga bridge police station in Hajipur on Tuesday,” said a senior transport officer, who was deployed on the bridge to regulate the traffic. He added that the situation improved on Monday evening.

Hajipur sergeant Avinish said instructions have been issued to initiate strict action against the drivers found overtaking.

“Heavy penalty would be imposed on those found violating the rules,” he said, adding that the removal of the police for election-related work had led to the snarls.

Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said SP (traffic) Satyaveer Singh has been asked to coordinate with his Vaishali counterpart to check the problem.

“We are keeping a close watch on the situation,” he said.

The bridge had witnessed traffic snarls on Saturday and Sunday.

“The flow of vehicles increased during the marriage season. The repair work on the bridge also added to the problem,” the SSP added.

Four of the bridge’s span numbers 39 to 42, are damaged and repair work is on for which the stretch between span numbers 34 and 46 have been barricaded.

Sources said instructions issued by the state police headquarters to all the superintendents of police to stop vehicles at different locations were not followed, leading to heavy flow of trucks and other vehicles.

“The SPs of the neighbouring districts are reluctant to adhere to the guidelines,” said a policeman manning the Gaighat traffic post.