Vehicles parked illegally on Bistupur Main Road on Tuesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Illegal parking is back with a vengeance on Bistupur Main Road, thanks to mass transfer of senior police personnel announced by state DGP Rajeev Kumar on Monday based on Election Commission (EC) guidelines.
As most personnel have been deputed outside the district, the sight of traffic police teams with a crane to tow away illegally parked vehicles has disappeared.
So, Bistupur Main Road, which had a smooth traffic flow for a month, even in its most choked 350m stretch between Kwality restaurant to N Road, was back to its clogged avatar on Tuesday as vehicles lined up no-parking zones.
“SUVs are again parked along the artery, narrowing its width. I slowed down to avoid dashing against a reversing vehicle. On Friday, the road was clear and traffic regulated. Today (Tuesday), in the absence of traffic police even near the signal, utter chaos reigned,” said Kadma resident Jagannath Mohanty.
Traffic on the stretch is the lightest on Tuesdays, the weekly day off for shops.
On Wednesday, the situation will be worse, feared a commuter.
“With traffic police missing from the artery, offenders will park vehicles wherever they want,” said Tata Steel employee Manoj Choudhary, resident of South Park in Bistupur.
East Singhbhum deputy superintendent of police (traffic) R.M. Sinha admitted to problems, but added he was helpless due to staff crunch.
Sinha added they needed manpower to tow away offending vehicles, instruct rules to drivers, warn them or levy fines.
“Senior officers from traffic police stations in Bistupur, Sakchi, Golmuri, Jugsalai and Mango have been transferred. I don’t have resources to launch a crackdown now. But, drives will resume once police officers in other districts are transferred here,” he said, but failed to specify a date when that would happen.
EC rules say no officer deputed on election duty should be allowed to continue his/her posting at respective home districts.
The rule applies to officers who have completed or would finish three years in their present posting on or before May 31. All IGs, DIGs, SSPs, SPs, additional SPs, subdivisional heads, inspectors, SI and ASIs are bound by the rules.