Even as the arrival of pilgrims picks up with the start of the Char Dham Yatra, places like Haridwar seem to be bearing the brunt of the rush. Due to the rush of pilgrims, the traffic on the national highway which passes through Haridwar is causing major congestion in the city especially on the weekends.
The construction of flyover on the National Highway near Singh Dwar and other pending works like broadening of NH along the stretch to Rishikesh and Dehradun are the major causes for congestion.
The Buddha Poornima bath coinciding with the long weekend made life tough for commuters due to congestion at Laltaro bridge, Shankaracharya Chowk, Premnagar Ashram Chowk, Chandighat and Singh Dwar. The alternate hill by pass which remains closed, made the authorities divert the traffic via Kankhal making the locals pass through narrow lanes to reach their destinations.
A commuter from Rishikesh, Amit Pal said, “It took about 30 minutes to cover the one kilometre from Chandighat to Shankaracharya Chowk. It took us four hours to reach Haridwar from Rishikesh while the distance is just about 30 kilometres.”
The damaged condition of the roads is also a major problem. Taking cognisance of the rising incidents of accidents due to potholed roads and lackadaisical attitude of the NHAI officials in repairing the roads, the district magistrate of Haridwar had cautioned the officials to be ready for penal action if any accident was reported on account of potholes left on the national highway.
The former environmental engineering professor of Roorkee University (now IIT) and Asian Institute of Technology Bangkok, Professor D S Bhargava said, “A city like Bengaluru which has so much of vehicular rush, never gets choked because it has one way system. The traffic jam occurs only when small cars and bikers in haste come in haphazard manner and queue up on wrong side. Such defaulters must be heavily penalised.”
Monday, 20 May 2019 | PNS | Haridwar
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