Shopping for Durga Puja is no more fun in the state capital. Lack of parking space, combined with frequent traffic snarl ups, on Bailey Road, Income Tax roundabout, Dak Bungalow crossing, Ashok Rajpath and other busy roads, act as major discouragement for puja shoppers.
Owners of branded clothing and IT stores, on the other hand, complain, that their business is down by 40-70% this festive season, compared to previous years, due to prolonged traffic jams on Bailey Road, not to mention other major shopping districts in the state capital.
Ravish Kumar, who runs a computer business outlet on S P Verma Road, said business was down by 40-60% due to lack of parking space and frequent traffic jams. gCustomersf footfall has reduced for the first time in several years, just when we were expecting business to boom,h he complained.
"For the last three days, I have had no customer in my store," grudged Sailesh, who runs a branded clothes store off New Dak Bungalow Road. Price rise and traffic problems could be the possible reasons for slump in business, he added."Business this festive season is down by at least 60-70%,"he claimed.
Construction of flyover at Jagdev Path (Bailey Road), encroachment by vendors, unauthorised erection of temporary bamboo arches, advertisement hoardings and setting up pandals on road flanks, have reduced width on main as well as link roads. Traffic flow from Maner, Bihta, Khagaul and Danapur via Bailey Road moves at a snailfs pace due to traffic logjams.
gIf this is the situation on Thursday, the situation on Saptami, Ashtami and Navami can be well imagined on busy roads of the state capital, when swarms of people throng puja pandals,h observed Prabhat Kumar Sinha, owner of an IT business store on Boring Road crossing. "Traffic movement is not being regulated the way it should be, leading to drastic reduction in customer footfall in shops,"he opined.
Patna district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Singh attributed traffic jams to non-compliance of instructions given at peace committee meetings by police stations concerned. gIt is the responsibility of police stations concerned to ensure that instructions are followed strictly,h he added.
Singh said, the district administration and Patna police launched a drive today to remove and penalise owners of vehicles parked for too long at new and old bypass and Dhanki More creating hurdles for other vehicle users.
In view of the heavy rush of devotees on three days beginning Saptami, policemen would be deployed at 300 sensitive static points and mobile patrolling would also be intensified, said SSP Amrit Raj. Finer details of regulating and diverting traffic for Puja were being worked out, he added.