Despite ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ – the pet project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to streamline traffic management of which abolition of illegal parking is a component – having found many takers in the state, the menace of illegal parking on roadsides in Howrah seems to be rampant.
It may be mentioned that after Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee was severely injured in a
road accident on NH2 last month, the state government wrote to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to put an end to illegal parking of heavy duty trucks along highways.
Steps have already been taken to check accidents at 22 important accident zones, also known as black spots.
However, by flouting the district administration openly, drivers of buses on Kadamtala-New Town bus route park their vehicles on the stretch of the street where parking is not allowed.
The buses often undergo minor repairs on the road. This continues to happen even after ‘no parking’ boards are put up.
As the pavements have already been taken over by builders who stack construction materials, pedestrians find it difficult to use the pavement and are forced to walk on the road.
As the buses are parked on the side of the roads, they are forced to walk in the middle of the road and risk their lives.
Local people have requested intervention of the district administration, but no concrete results have been produced.
Regular bus passengers on the route alleged that the drivers often cause a lot of delay as they are seen chatting with their colleagues.
To cover for up the lost time, the drivers accelerate on packed roads, increasing the risk of accidents.
Last month, a bus on the same route met with an accident near the Toll Plaza on Vidyasagar Setu.