Trucks stranded on highways

Curbs on the entry of trucks into Calcutta since the collapse of the Majerhat bridge has left hundreds of goods carriers stranded on National Highway 2 in West and East Burdwan and some other highways in Bankura and Purulia.

By Abhijeet Chatterjee in Durgapur
  • Published 10.09.18
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Trucks stranded on the National Highway 2, near Durgapur, on Sunday. Picture by Arup Sarkar

Durgapur: Curbs on the entry of trucks into Calcutta since the collapse of the Majerhat bridge has left hundreds of goods carriers stranded on National Highway 2 in West and East Burdwan and some other highways in Bankura and Purulia.

Police officers in Bankura and Purulia, as well as officers of the Asansol-Durgapur police commissionerate, said they had been stopping goods vehicles on the highways following instructions from the state administration and the Calcutta police since Friday night.

"We are only allowing trucks to move towards Calcutta after being told by the city police to do so. Heavy vehicles are being allowed to ply towards Calcutta between 8pm and 4am," said M. Pushpa, deputy commissioner of police, traffic, Asansol-Durgapur commissionerate.

The drivers are being asked to park their trucks in service lanes along the highways. Where there is no service lane, such as along National Highway 60, Bankura-Durgapur road or the Bankura-Raniganj road, the trucks are being parked on the carriageways, resulting in snarls.

Drivers said they were having a harrowing time as their stock of food and water had exhausted.

"I am coming from Haryana with wheat to deliver it to a depot in Calcutta. The police stopped my vehicle on Saturday morning. I have run out of water and food. There are no eateries by the roadside. I have no clue when I will reach Calcutta," said Balbinder Singh Rathor, a truck driver who was stranded on National Highway 2 in Durgapur.

Officials of the Durgapur Municipal Corporation said they had made arrangements for supplying water to truckers along the highway.

Debris being removed on Sunday from the site where a section of the Majerhat bridge collapsed. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya

Civic police volunteers, the officials said, are guiding drivers and their help to roadside eateries.

"We are sending drinking water in tankers to the drivers of the stranded trucks," said Pabitra Chatterjee, the mayoral council member in charge of water supply in the civic body.

The Calcutta-bound trucks from Bankura are stranded on National Highway 60 near Bankura and the Durgapur barrage in Borjora, Bankura.

The trucks heading for Calcutta from Purulia and Jamshedpur are being stopped at Mejia in Bankura or Santuri and Raghunathpur in Purulia.

Trucks from Jharkhand and north India are being stopped at the Duburdih check-post on the Bengal-Jharkhand border. Trucks are also stranded at the Palsit check-post in East Burdwan and the Dankuni toll plaza on National Highway 2 in Hooghly.