COMMUTERS encountered difficulties as traffic restrictions on the 150-year-old Malviya bridge came into effect from 9 am today for a period of three months.
A chaotic scene prevailed on both sides of the river throughout the day even as vehicular traffic load increased on the pontoon bridge connecting Varanasi and Ramnagar in the Samne Ghat area.
Commuters between Varanasi and Chandauli were the worst sufferers as they had to pay increased fares besides putting in additional time to cover the distance.
Public and private bus players hiked fares on various destinations. Bus fare for Varanasi-Mughalsarai route increased from Rs 11 to Rs 27 while the fare for Varanasi- Chakia route went up from Rs 27 to Rs 42. Bus fare from Varanasi to Chandauli increased from Rs 19 to Rs 34 while the fare for Varanasi-Naugarh route went up from Rs 47 to Rs 64. Fares on Varanasi-Dhanapur, Saiyyadraja-Hingatoor routes also shot up from Rs 27, 24 and 29 to Rs 42, 39 and 44 respectively.
“Bus fares of various destinations from Varanasi across the Ganga have increased from Rs 18-20 as now the buses would have to cover more distance,” said an official of Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation.
Besides, auto-rickshaw and tempo fares have also increased considerably.
Sources said there was no arrangement for big boats or steamers on either sides of Ganga due to which boatmen charged heavy fares for getting the commuters across the river.
Meanwhile, as part of the restrictions, traffic will be diverted to Mohansarai bypass due to which vehicles will have to cover an additional distance of more than 30 kilometers.
Only pedestrians will be allowed to cross the Ganga through Malviya bridge.