Vehicles crawl on old HB Road near Plaza Chowk in Ranchi on Saturday. (Hardeep Singh)
Ranchi, July 26: A traffic rearrangement to facilitate Id shopping backfired when hundreds of commuters were caught in jams in the heart of the state capital this afternoon.
The district administration shut down a 1km stretch between Sarjana Chowk and Equra Mosque Chowk on Main Road to make way for a temporary Id market without notifying the public in advance. Though Main Road’s traffic was diverted towards Club Road from Sujata Chowk and Purulia Road from Sarjana Chowk, the plan didn’t work out well, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded for hours.
Purulia Road, Club Road, Plaza Chowk and Karbala Chowk remained chock-a-block with vehicles and the ripple effect was felt in a number of alleys along Main Road.
Ranchi commuters may do well to brace for more inconvenience as the traffic curbs will be in place on Main Road for the next three days.
“It took me nearly half an hour to reach Albert Ekka Chowk from Sujata Chowk. Usually, I cover the distance on my bike in just five minutes. I did not have any idea that Main Road had been blocked at two places, otherwise, I would not have taken this route. The least the district administration could have done is properly inform us about the new traffic arrangements,” said Sunil Minz, a resident of Kadru.
Agreed Sanjay Sahu, a resident of Argora.
“Everything is fair in this city in the name of celebrations. On one hand, the district administration harasses poor vendors selling wares on footpaths while on the other hand, it is allowing encroachments on Main Road, the lifeline of the city, to set up a temporary market,” he said.
When contacted, senior superintendent of police Prabhat Kumar expressed inability to say why the change had been made in traffic plans. “I am out of station,” he said.
Superintendent of police (city) Anoop Birtharay admitted the problem, but justified that it was needed to ensure hassle-free Id celebrations.
Deputy commissioner of Ranchi Vinay Kumar Choubey said: “Such arrangements are done every year during Id. It is nothing new. The curbs will be in place till July 29.”