| A tea stall on a Boring Canal Road footpath. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Boring Canal Road has one of the best footpaths in the city but like its other counterparts in Patna, rampant encroachment has forced pedestrians to take the busy thoroughfare.
Ekta Srivastava (20) feels scared everyday as she walks to her coaching centre near Vishnu Palace on Boring Canal Road. She has to dodge her way to avoid hawkers, haphazardly parked vehicles and garbage.
“My house is not far from my coaching centre. So, I prefer walking to the institute. Since stalls encroach upon the footpath, I have to walk on the roads fearing that I will be hit by a vehicle some day,” said the Boring Road resident.
Located in the heart of the city, Boring Canal Road has several commercial complexes, shops and coaching centres. It is frequented by people of all ages. However, many shops on either sides of the road have encroached upon the footpath.
Several eateries near Panchmukhi Mandir have encroached upon the footpath by placing the stoves and the utensils on the infringed space. Numerous paan and cigarette stalls can be seen on either sides of the pavement along the street.
Pedestrians face the worst experience between the medians at the turnings, which is used for vehicle parking. Squatters have also encroached upon the pavements at such turnings.
“Walking on the turnings on Boring Canal Road is extremely risky as one has to walk on the carriageway. The authorities should at least clear the footpath along the turnings because space is less there and people also drive faster,” said Boring Road resident Ravi Kumar.
In July 2013, Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) had removed squatters, vendors and illegal structures from the median but they returned within a few days. On whether the civic body has any plan to remove the encroachers from Boring Canal Road any time soon, senior officials did not have a positive reply.
“There is encroachment of footpaths on Boring Canal Road but we might not be able to conduct any anti-encroachment drive over the next couple of days because we do not have the required support from police. We have been told that most of the police force is engaged in other law and order issues, including students’ protests against Bihar School Examination Board,” said Vishal Anand, the executive officer of New Capital Circle, PMC.