| Encroachment on the footpath of RK Bhattacharya Road on Monday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Traffic snarls like the one RK Bhattacharya Road saw on Monday are becoming a regular occurrence in the absence of proper parking facilities, violation of traffic regulations and encroachments.
Hundreds of commuters had a harrowing time owing to traffic snarls on Bhattacharya Road, which connects eastern parts of Patna with the Patna Junction and main markets like Dakbungalow, Fraser Road and Bailey Road.
Traffic, be it vehicles or pedestrians, often comes to a crawl on this road because of congestion, thanks to encroaching traders.
Vijay Kumar (25), an autorickshaw driver, said several stall owners have encroached upon major portions of the road and set up stalls selling helmets, electronic gadgets and spare parts of two-wheelers.
Muktar Ahmad Qureshi (60), owner of a mutton shop nearby, said customers have to park their vehicles far away from his shop for want of proper parking facilities.
The rush of vehicles during peak hours often leads to traffic jams on the entire stretch from Bhattacharya Road to Exhibition Road.
To be fair to the administration, it did widen the road a few years ago, but encroachers set up their stalls there in no time, leaving pedestrians in the lurch. Manoj Kumar (40), another shop owner, said pedestrians have a harrowing time walking to the market owing to careless drivers.
“Vehicle owners do not park their vehicles properly, causing problems to pedestrians,” he said.
Normally, it takes over half an hour to reach the Exhibition Road, hardly 500m from the road.
“Mechanics can be spotted repairing vehicles on the roadside, making it difficult for traffic policemen to regulate traffic.
“Whenever the administration has tried to remove encroachments, it has faced stiff resistance from stall owners and vendors,” a traffic policeman manning the traffic post near Exhibition Road told The Telegraph.
But most residents blame the traffic police and district administration. “The police and district administration have not taken any concrete measure to resolve this problem.
“Even drives against encroachments are not carried out regularly. Had it been the case, such a large number of stalls would not have come up,” said Ruby Choudhary (35), who lives in an apartment opposite CDA Building.
Another resident, Nitesh Kumar (21), said the thick smoke emanating from vehicles stuck in the jam was a matter of concern for people living in the locality. “We have written to the pollution control board but to no avail,” Nitesh, a student of the local College of Commerce, said.
When approached for comment, traffic superintendent of police Satyaveer Singh said the administration was committed to removing encroachments on important roads.
“Anti-encroachment drives are launched from time to time to ensure smooth flow of traffic. The same would be followed in the case of Bhattacharya road,” he asserted.