The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 5 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rally trio choke traffic

Snarl at Esplanade on Tuesday afternoon. (Pradip Sanyal)

Three rallies choked seven arterial roads in the heart of the city in phases from 2pm to 6pm on Monday.

The disruption started when a group of around 500 SUCI supporters blocked the Esplanade East-CR Avenue crossing around 2pm to protest the recent rise in power tariff.

The disruption was followed by two back-to-back rallies by a Left-backed association of sales personnel and the Trinamul youth wing at the city centre, choking the evening rush hour traffic.

The SUCI blockade lasted 10 minutes but it was enough to bring vehicles to a halt on Old Court House Street, JL Nehru Road, SN Banerjee Road, CR Avenue, Bentinck Street and Mayo Road.

While the SUCI supporters were dispersing, around 3,000 members of the Left-backed association of sales personnel started a march from in front of Mahajati Sadan around 3pm.

The march passed through CR Avenue and Chowringhee Road before ending on Rani Rashmoni Avenue, where the association held a meeting that continued till 6pm.

Police tried to keep the rallyists to the left of the road but the march still slowed vehicles to a crawl along CR Avenue. We had expected 700-800 people but there were close to 3,000. Its difficult to maintain a steady vehicular flow with such a large number of people marching down the road, said a senior traffic police officer.

Around 4.15pm, Trinamul youth wing supporters started marching from Netaji Indoor Stadium, where the organisation had held a meeting, towards Esplanade and Howrah and Sealdah stations. As a result, traffic went haywire on Esplanade East, Lenin Sarani and Strand Road.