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Home-bound crowd jams Gandhi Setu

A visit to Hajipur or beyond via the 5.575-km Mahatma Gandhi Setu during Chhath is proving to be a nightmare.

On Wednesday, bus passengers had to wait for hours and ultimately walk it. “We have been stranded for three hours. Many buses are refusing to go. We have to cover the remaining distance (length of the bridge) on foot. I am worried for my two children, not even 10. But then, we have to be home for Chhath,” R.K. Srivastava, a Muzaffarpur-bound government schoolteacher, said.

“I started for Muzaffarpur around 9am. It was smooth sailing till the bridge. A constable told me a heavy vehicle had broken down. My vehicle could only crawl for over two hours. I got out of the mess around noon,” said Prakash Kumar Singh, a businessman.

An officer at Alamganj police station said: “I never saw a jam on the bridge. There have just been some blockades.”

“How can the officer say this? I had to lift my two-wheeler onto the pavement after waiting for two hours. I could see a policeman dozing off. The officer should be suspended,” an angry Deepak Yadav, headed for Hajipur, said.

Senior cops accepted there was a problem. “Just 400-500m on Gandhi Setu from Patna end, the road narrows down to just one way for vehicles from both sides till pillar number 46, because of the construction work. Another reason is because heavy vehicles are stopped from plying on Rajendra Bridge at Mokama owing to construction work there. The condition could improve by tonight, as by then most people would have reached homes for Chhath,” sergeant major (traffic), Anil Kumar, told The Telegraph.