The Telegraph
Friday , March 21 , 2014
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Mango bridge blues in snarl city

What Jamshedpur commuters faced on Thursday morning when a truck broke down in the middle of Mango bridge, triggering snarls for over an hour, is nothing new.

Jam sessions have become routine on the 800m bridge, which draws over 1.5 lakh vehicles every day and connects the steel city with densely populated Mango and NH-33.

The no-entry timings — 6am-9am, 12.30pm-2.30pm and 5pm-10pm — meant to prevent entry of heavy vehicles into the city during school and office hours seem to have backfired. Once the curbs are relaxed, the double-lane bridge, used by almost all long-distance buses heading to Odisha, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other parts of Jharkhand and 90 per cent of heavy vehicles carrying consignments to industrial units, gets chock-a-block with crawling vehicles. The snarls sometimes even extend up to hours.

“We have to leave for our destination several hours in advance. Otherwise, if we get stuck in the jam, our entire schedule goes haywire. The administration should immediately find a solution to this problem,” complained Md Sarfuddin, a 52-year-old resident of Azadnagar in Mango.

Many people even plan their schedule in such a way that they cross the bridge during no-entry hours.

“I try to cross the bridge by 8.30am to avoid snarls. However, a truck had developed a mechanical snag today (Thursday), which led to congestion,” said Jitender Bakshi (42), a resident of Dimna Road, Mango.

Traffic police expressed helplessness.

“The traffic load automatically increases when no-entry restrictions are lifted and heavy vehicles queue up to cross this bridge. The problem gets compounded when a truck or trailer breaks down. The situation will ease once the third bridge over river Subernarekha is completed, which would divert some vehicles coming from Odisha and Bengal to the city,” said traffic DSP R.M. Sinha.

The third bridge is expected to be ready by the end of this year.