BOGGED DOWN IN BOTTLENECKS!

ROAD RE­AL­ITY Travel time is in­creas­ing and av­er­age speed of traf­fic is de­creas­ing. We give a low­down on what clogs Lucknow’s ar­ter­ies and the pos­si­ble so­lu­tions to de­con­gest them. A sta­tus check shows that a bus ride on the 4-km Hus­sain­ganj-Sikan­derbagh r

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - Team HT lko­re­porters­[email protected]

How long does it take to cover a 4-km-long stretch within city lim­its, if one moves at nor­mal speed, say 40kmph? Ide­ally, the an­swer is around six min­utes. But such cal­cu­la­tions go hay­wire on the stretch con­nect­ing Hus­sain­ganj cross­ing to Sikan­darbagh cross­ing.

A re­al­ity check car­ried out by HT on Satur­day to as­sess travel time on the busy stretch (dur­ing off-peak hours) brought to fore many things that add to the com­muters’ pain. A city bus ride on this 4-km jam-prone route took around 35 min­utes.

But daily com­muters told us that dur­ing peak hours, it takes an hour or even more to cover the short but busiest stretch in the heart of the city.

LUCKNOW: How long does it take to cover a 4-km-long stretch within city lim­its, if one moves at nor­mal speed, say 40kmph? Ide­ally, the an­swer is around six min­utes. But such cal­cu­la­tions go hay­wire on the stretch con­nect­ing Hus­sain­ganj cross­ing to Sikan­darbagh cross­ing.

A re­al­ity check car­ried out by HT on Satur­day to as­sess travel time on the busy stretch (dur­ing off-peak hours) brought to fore many things that add to the com­muters’ pain.

A city bus ride on this 4-km jam-prone route took around 35 min­utes.

But daily com­muters told us that dur­ing peak hours, it takes an hour or even more to cover the short but busiest stretch in the heart of the city.

The re­al­ity check be­gan around 3:30pm, when HT team boarded a city bus from Hus­sain­ganj cross­ing. This bus (UP 32 CZ9719) from Gomti Na­gar De­pot shut­tles on route no 11, be­tween Charbagh and Chin­hat via Gomti Na­gar.

No sooner did the bus gather speed, it was soon caught in a bot­tle­neck on the Burling­ton cross­ing — per­haps the busiest cross­ing that sees traf­fic from Charbagh rail­way sta­tion, Can­ton­ment road to­wards Sadar, Can­ton­ment road to­wards Qais­erbagh and Vid­han Bhawan.

The cross­ing was be­ing manned by a traf­fic cop, who said that man­ning traf­fic at this point is per­haps the tough­est job – as traf­fic in­flow is very high and out­flow is far too less.

After get­ting stuck for a good eight min­utes, the bus was di­verted to the Can­ton­ment road, lead­ing to­wards the Qais­erbagh cross­ing from where it reached Royal Ho­tel cross­ing, near Bapu Bhawan via Is­lamia Col­lege.

It took an­other seven to eight min­utes for the bus to reach the cross­ing.

De­spite it not be­ing a busy day (less of school and of­fi­cer-go­ers), the bus moved at snail’s pace and reached Hazrat­ganj cross­ing, where it again got stuck in a

jam, which was per­haps due to de­mon­stra­tions at Gandhi Pra­tima.

“Dhar­nas and jams are a rou­tine af­fair at Hazrat­ganj cross­ing. I don’t know why the ad­min­is­tra­tion al­lows pro­tes­tors to stage demon­stra­tion at such busy cross­ings. Most of the time these peo­ple re­main the main cause for traf­fic jams that also con­trib­utes to in­creas­ing pol­lu­tion,” said Suren­dra Pal, the bus con­duc­tor.

The bus even­tu­ally moved, after brav­ing a jam for al­most 8 min­utes. The bus was also bogged in bottlenecks on Ashok Marg (the stretch from Hazrat­ganj to Sikan­derbagh) due to hap­haz­ard park­ing of ve­hi­cles on the road­sides and a jam-like sit­u­a­tion at Jawa­har Bhawan, but chugged along some­how. The jour­ney fi­nally con­cluded at Sikan­derbagh cross­ing at 4.05pm.

Peo­ple on board called the stretch the ‘busiest of all’ and blamed the gov­ern­ment for do­ing al­most noth­ing to curb the peren­nial traf­fic jams.

“Merely declar­ing the stretch a ‘no demon­stra­tion zone’ won’t help un­less au­thor­i­ties find a way out to the prob­lem that is get­ting worse with each day,” said Ravin­dra Singh, a stu­dent and a daily com­muter.

The en­tire stretch was be­ing man­aged by three traf­fic sub-in­spec­tors (TSI), six traf­fic head con­sta­bles and a dozen home guards.

HT

▪ Hap­haz­ard park­ing on road­sides leads to jams on Ashok Marg

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