Several restrictions have been imposed on the movement of vehicles and pedestrians following the full-fledged police deployment for Durga Puja from Chaturthi (Thursday).
The Telegraph found out how moving around the city was no longer the same from Chaturthi. Parking: Many of the stretches that are used as parking areas have been turned into ‘No parking’ zones to accommodate more vehicles on the carriageway.
Several people this newspaper spoke to said they were finding it difficult to get a parking space near Puja pandals they were visiting.
A traffic restriction notice issued by the police refers to a number of roads, or parts of roads, where parking is not allowed. People are also not allowed to alight on these roads or stretches from their vehicles.
In north Kolkata, ‘No Parking’ zones have been set up on Bagbazar Street, parts of Bidhan Sarani, Rabindra Sarani, Sovabazar Street, Beadon Street, Nimtala Ghat Street, College Street, parts of BK Paul Avenue, Vivekananda Road (between Raja Dinendra Street and Bidhan Sarani), Ultadanga Main Road, Jatindra Mohan Avenue and Chittaranjan Avenue.
In central Kolkata, parts of MG Road, SN Banerjee Road, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Sarani, Surya Sen Street, BB Ganguly Street, Madan Mohan Burman Street and Colootola Street are among the ‘No Parking’ zones.
In south Kolkata, Sarat Bose Road, Hindustan Road, Ashutosh Mukherjee Road and Hazra Road are among the thoroughfares where parking is banned for the Puja. Animesh Santra, a resident of Barrackpore who was pandal-hopping in central Kolkata, said he had to park his car “at least 2km” from Mohammad Ali Park.
“Parking was not allowed on the road. Cops were signalling with their hands and saying: ‘Aagey aagey (move forward)’. Finally, I could park my car around 2km from the park and walk down to the pandal with my family,” Santra said.
Crossovers: Pedestrians are no longer free to walk across roads anywhere they wish. Several major intersections like the Rashbehari crossing and parts of Chittaranjan Avenue, Southern Avenue, Kalighat Road and Hazra Road have been barricaded or are being monitored by cops and civic volunteers, who are using ropes to regulate pedestrian movement. “They (civic volunteers and police personnel) are using ropes to prevent the crowd from spilling on the roads and to regulate the timings and duration of pedestrian movement,” said an officer of the traffic department.
“Today, I went to the Gariahat market for some last-minute shopping. I saw the police managing the crossover points with ropes. They were not allowing us to cross the road at random. They were holding a rope and allowed us to cross only after the traffic signal for vehicles turned red,” said Sraboni Bagchi, who lives in Dhakuria.
Traffic movement: Traffic snarls were spotted on Sarat Bose Road, Gariahat Road, Chowringhee Road, Shyambazar five-point crossing and APC Road, among other thoroughfares, on Thursday afternoon.
“I went to visit the Tridhara Sammilani puja but was caught in a traffic snarl for 20 minutes in Chetla,” said Abhishek Mukherjee, a resident of Garia. Later in the evening, traffic across the city was regulated and there were no reports of any major traffic congestion, the police said on Thursday night.