The Telegraph
Tuesday , October 16 , 2012
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Cop scan on road-hog pujas

Police have lodged cases against two puja committees in south Calcutta and objected to the construction by one puja in the north for violation of norms.

Power minister Manish Gupta is scheduled to inaugurate one of these pujas against which a case has been lodged — Trikon Park in Santoshpur. The organisers have been accused of obstructing Santoshpur Avenue.

Calcutta police had made a list of major roads in the city on which they prohibited the construction of gates. Santoshpur Avenue was on that list, said a police source.

“The idea (to ban construction on these roads) is to ensure smooth movement of vehicles along all roads where a large number of vehicles ply,” said a Lalbazar source. “Also, if these gates collapse, many people would be injured.”

Both the pujas in Santoshpur against which police have filed cases — Santoshpur Lake Palli and Trikon Park — have built gates on Santoshpur Avenue.

“We have started a case each against these pujas for constructing overhead gates blocking the thoroughfare,” said an officer of Survey Park police station.

There are about 10 gates on the road, said sources. Two of these gates are across the eastern slope of Sukanta Setu, blocking the pavement and forcing pedestrians to come down on the road. Each of these gates also encroach on about 4ft of road space.

“We requested the puja organisers to remove the gates but they refused,” the officer added.

Subhopriyo Bhattacharya, a member of the Trikon Park Puja Committee, said: “It’s strange that gates can be allowed in some lanes but not on some roads. They could break down and injure people even in small lanes.”

In north Calcutta, Ahiritola Sarbojonin has made about 10 gates on BK Pal Avenue, to which the police objected. “We have stopped the erection of the gates. As of now, they haven’t made any further constructions. We have asked them to remove the gates and are waiting to see what they do,” said an officer.