In steel city, helmetless bikers face the wrath of traffic cops more often than those guilty of illegal parking.
The perfect case in point is Bistupur, the busy commercial hub, where traffic cops can be seen diligently stopping bikers without helmets on Main Road, but turn a blind eye to four- and two-wheelers parked in the no-parking zone barely 50 metres away on the same stretch.
“To the police, checking papers and penalising helmetless riders seem to be more important than controlling traffic congestion on an important artery like Bistupur Main Road. They prefer to stand at one place and catch those riding bikes without helmets while blissfully ignoring long queues of illegally parked vehicles that also put commuters at risk. The other day, I found it difficult to negotiate the stretch on my bike because an illegally parked SUV and auto-rickshaw were encroaching upon the carriageway, triggering massive snarls,” said Ankit Goswami, a computer operator in a Bistupur-based MNC.
The situation was no better near Bistupur traffic signal, too.
“I was returning home via Bistupur Main Road on Wednesday, when I saw several bikes and auto-rickshaws parked illegally outside a popular jewellery outlet near the Bistupur traffic signal where a board put up by police indicated that it was a no-parking zone. This is among the busiest roads and illegal parking leads to traffic congestion in peak hours. But cops were standing as mute spectators at a traffic booth nearby,” said Rakesh Pandey, a banker and a resident of Birsanagar.
The four-lane Bistupur Main Road has commercial establishments such as banks, the LIC office and retail outlets on both sides and witnesses nearly 50,000 vehicles on an average daily.
Bistupur traffic inspector Rajendra Kumar Das admitted that their focus was on checking helmet-less riders, triple riders and rash driving.
“The crackdown on parking violation is conducted at intervals and vehicles are either towed away or requisition slips are pasted on them,” Das added.
As per the provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, the penalty for parking violation is Rs 500.