Raahgiri, the district administration’s programme to promote non-motorised transport and healthy living, caused chaos and public inconvenience on Sunday morning.
The stretch of main road from Vijay Nagar junction to Bapat square passing along Hotel Sayaji, Fortune Landmark hotel, Shri Ramkrishna Ma Sarada Mutt was blocked from 7 am to 10 pm to hold sporting activities, dance and songs. People played sitolia, volleyball, football while others skipped with the ropes.
Traffic was diverted to other side of the same Vijay Nagar main road passing along IDA Scheme No 54. This caused inconvenience to people who had to leave for work, functions from the hotels and surrounding areas to other venues.
Strangely, people who took part in Raahgiri programme arrived on two-wheelers, four-wheelers to have fun on roads. They parked their vehicles in nearby areas thereby causing traffic jams.
Those who had urgent work and had to leave the area felt frustrated. “The roads were completely blocked. Traffic is less on Sundays but blocking the road and playing football is insane,” said businessman Gaurav Raheja.
Some commuters were furious. “I had to pick up my relatives early morning from the railway station. When I was returning home with them, the roads were blocked. It was difficult reaching home. What bothered me most was that even government officials took part in it,” said software engineer Anil Saxena, who stays near Bombay Hospital.
Bank official from Jharkhand Ajay Kumar Lang, who is in the city to attend a wedding function, too was harassed man. “The wedding function was at Fortune Landmark hotel. It was difficult to commute through the entire stretch. I failed to understand Raahgiri. Is the programme meant to benefit the people or cause menace for them?” he remarked.
When contacted, divisional commissioner Sanjay Dubey said it is good if people opt for healthy lifestyle and non-motorised transport. “But selection of venue is not proper. Roads are meant for traffic. If at all these activities are to be held, they should be held in parks or stadium.”