| Relief in sight: A snarl on a road in Patna |
The proposed master plan for Patna metropolitan region can prove to be the panacea for the age-old traffic problems of the city infamous for its narrow streets, worsened by encroachment.
The proposed master plan, prepared by the urban development and housing department, which was released on August 14, aims at integrating the existing road of the city with the proposed road network.
Around 5.10 per cent of the total planned area (1,144.92sqkm) declared for the extended city or around 58.43sqkm would be utilised for developing road network only.
Roads have been proposed to be of eight different widths — 80m, 45m, 35m, 30m, 27m, 24m, 18m and 12m. The widest road, the central spine of the city, would be in the southern part of the urban area along the east-west direction. After the central spine, there would be a 60-m wide outer ring road, which would connect the existing city with the extended urban areas. The inner ring road would comprise 45m and 30m-wide roads, which would be well connected with the outer ring road.
To avoid waterlogging, most of the roads are proposed with canal and drainage lines running along to allow the discharge of surface water to the river. These roads would also be well-connected with proposed public transport network, including mass rapid transit system such as Metro and bus depots.
Experts are of the view that if the ambitious plans of the proposed road network materialises, it would prove to be a boon for road transport in the city.
“The vehicular traffic in Patna has grown by 67 folds in the past two decades — from 4,384 in 1981 to 2,89,844 in 2001. Also, the average width of the roads in the city at present is 5.5m, which is further reduced to up to 50 per cent of the entire width of the road because of rampant encroachment. If roads of the proposed width under the master plan are successfully developed, then there could be nothing better for sustaining the traffic load in Patna. However, the government must be extremely meticulous in preserving the interest of existing land owners while developing such wide roads,” said wing commander (retired) Narendra Kumar, honorary secretary, Automobile Dealers’ Association of Bihar.
The proposed wide roads are also supposed to be sufficiently lighted with ample number of street lights across them. Ideally, the preferred spacing between streetlights on a two-lane road is about 30m. However, the spacing between streetlights in Patna Municipal Corporation area at present is 155m and even above 400m in the neighbouring municipal council areas. At present, there are 9,267 streetlights on the total length of surfaced road in Patna urban area of 1,500km.