A delay in the dispersal of the morning-shift students of South Point school in Mandeville Gardens in south Kolkata on the first day of classes after the summer vacation resulted in traffic snarls in and around Gariahat on Monday afternoon, police said.
To streamline the student dispersal process, the school has extended the holidays for a few more days this week for Nursery I, II and Transition classes. All batches are scheduled to be back on the campus together from July 1.
“In our eagerness to welcome our dear pupils back to school, perhaps, we did not fully envisage the challenges we might face in starting physical classes simultaneously for Nursery 1 to Class V,” said a notice issued by the school for parents of Nursery I, II and Transition classes.
Several motorists were stranded for almost an hour.
“It took me 45 minutes to reach the Rashbehari crossing from Gariahat,” said a resident of Panchanantala in south Kolkata. The stretch usually takes less than five minutes to cover.
Traffic police said the jam was because of a delay in the dispersal of the morning-shift students of South Point school. This also delayed the entry of day-shift students who crowded the road outside the school building.
“Guardians who came to pick up their children were waiting outside the school from 11.15am. Those who had come to drop their kids were also waiting till around 12.30pm when the school gates finally opened,” said an officer of the traffic department.
The crowd of guardians, students and vehicles parked outside the school disrupted traffic on Gariahat Road, Bijon Setu and the Rashbehari connector.
The tail of the traffic snarl reached Priya cinema near Deshapriya Park on one side and till the Park Circus crossing on the other, police said.
Traffic became normal after 1pm, an officer of Gariahat police station said.
According to school estimates, private cars, school buses and pool cars for 6,000-odd students were waiting outside the school between 11.15am and 12.30pm.
“We realise we need a little more preparation time to ensure timely entry and exit for all classes as the smaller children need a little more time to acclimatise themselves to physical classes. Therefore classes for Nursery and Transition will remain suspended for some time and resume in a staggered manner,” the notice said.
Senior officers of the Kolkata police’s traffic department said there would be additional cop posting outside the school on Tuesday.