The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 18 , 2014
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Parking rogues cramp freeway

Civil engineer Sukanto Mandal almost got knocked down by a mini-van on Sunday

Businessman D.K. Ghosh is forced to walk on a busy road instead of the pavement

IT professional Arun Kumar Singh has had ugly parking quarrels with motorists

Commuting on Sakchi highway is increasingly becoming a risky affair because unauthorised and haphazard parking is squeezing the double-lane artery into a narrow alley.

A short 300-metre stretch of the 2km highway, which links the commercial hub to Mango and hosts key establishments such as banks, ATM kiosks, retail marts, garment stores, car showrooms, a leading American food chain and The Bengal Club, is the pressure point.

The highway witnesses more than 100,000 vehicles, including town buses and autos ferrying passengers to Mango and Sitaramdera bus terminus, and many of these pause or park on the market stretch. Cautious driving is the only way to avoid a crash.

“I was biking to the HDFC ATM when a mini-van on reverse gear emerged from nowhere. I braked in the nick of time. The van was parked illegally and could have caused me injuries, but who cares? Neither the traffic police nor the district administration seems bothered about the parking menace. Commuters will continue to suffer,” said Golmuri-based Mandal who works with a leading real estate firm.

Pedestrians said peril was the second name of this artery.

“The entire pavement has been encroached upon by vehicles. Where does one walk freely? Carrying heavy shopping bags on a busy road can be risky. Are the authorities blind? Perhaps, they just don’t care how pedestrians manage to cross this stretch,” Ghosh, a cycle retailer, vented his anger.

Said Mango resident Singh: “I cancelled a family evening at KFC on Sunday just because it is located at a place where parking is a headache. Vehicles stand in a haphazard manner and I have had heated exchanges with drivers in the past. They were not pleasant experiences. High time something was done to check illegal parking here.”

DSP (traffic) R.M. Sinha admitted the parking poser on Sakchi highway, but passed the buck to Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC). “The local urban body must first ensure that all commercial establishments have underground parking facility. If it does, this problem will cease to exist. We cannot control parking,” he said.

East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal, however, promised to talk with JNAC bosses and stem the menace. “We will certainly take steps to ensure that commuters do not face any problem on this important stretch,” he said.