Overnight gateway to festive pain

Diwali is most welcome, but not welcome gates on Ranchi roads by Kali Puja organisers.

By Our Correspondent
  • Published 14.10.17

Diwali is most welcome, but not welcome gates on Ranchi roads by Kali Puja organisers.

With the scaffolding of welcome gates coming up randomly on roads, Ranchi residents fear another spell of traffic chaos around October 19, Diwali and Kali Puja.

Over a dozen welcome arches have come up overnight on the busy HB Road between Albert Ekka Chowk and Lalpur Chowk, eating up precious road space. Also, the sides of the roads have been damaged to affix bamboo poles for the temporary structures.

For example, on Tharpakhna stretch of HB Road near Plaza Cinema, a welcome gate has eaten up 6 feet of the 20-feet-wide road.

This overnight enthusiasm has taken Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) by surprise. Organisers have not taken prior permission from the civic body to put them up.

"Unlike in the case of Durga Puja, celebrated on a much bigger scale, for Kali Puja we did not issue any directive as there are not many such community Pujas. But, nobody has the right to encroach upon and damage the road. I will issue a circular and a team will be sent for spot verification. In case of any violation, fines will be imposed (on the organisers)," said RMC commissioner Shantanu Kumar Agrahari.

It is yet to be seen if the RMC will act or remain just a paper tiger, but commuters are already facing the brunt.

Kanti Lal Shah, retired HEC employee and Kokar resident, said it was becoming impossible to commute on HB Road. "We can't say anything to Puja organisers," he said.

HB Road has a huge volume of traffic as it goes towards Main Road, Kokar via Lalpur and East Jail Road and Purulia Road. It is also a designated route for autos.

A traffic constable at HB Road pointed out that bamboo structures were almost on the middle of the road, crossing white lines on both sides.

Asked, Ranchi traffic DSP Dilip Xalxo said his department had no prior information. He added holes had been made at some points to fix bamboo poles, which would prove hazardous for pedestrians once gates were dismantled and damage the road in the long run.

Road construction (Ranchi wing) SDO R.N. Dwivedi told this paper that roads can't be dug up on a whim. "Even if government departments such as telecom, drinking water and others dig up a road for work, it has to repair the stretch," he pointed out.

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