PATNA: The state government in Bihar has banned plying of paddle-rickshaws in the key business localities of the state capital, blaming it for continuing traffic jams in the city.
Authorities said the playing of rickshaws has been banned in certain localities of the state capital, such as, SP Verma Road, Jamal Road and New Dak Bungalow Road in view of the heavy traffic. The order will come into force from the very next week.
According to them, the routes leading to these localities housing many important offices are narrow and the plying of paddle rickshaws had been only adding to woes of the people negotiating these routes.
They feel the rickshaw pullers have been regularly putting brakes on free movement of vehicles in these localities, leading to traffic jams on most of the time while during the peak hours it turns unbearable.
“We have planned to ban plying of rickshaws in these localities to free them from regular traffic jams for which route chart is being drawn,” city superintendent of police (traffic), Patna told the media today.
During his first term as the chief minister of Bihar as well, chief minister Nitish Kumar had banned rickshaws in the VIP localities of the state capital for similar.
The order, however, was withdrawn soon thereafter following strong protests from various quarters as the protesters accused the government of driving out the poor from the state capital in the name of maintaining smooth traffic.
One of the parties which had protested at that time was the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Lalu Prasad. It’s to be seen now if the RJD interferes into the matter or just blindly endorses the government’s ban order.
Prasad has already come under fire for keeping silent over the government’s move to ban sale of toddy in Bihar while his own RJD government earlier had announced toddy tax free.
“Laluji should not fear from Nitish. His own RJD government had earlier declared toddy tax free but now he is silent over the issue,” said Union Minister and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan who held a day-long Dharna (sit-in)yesterday to protest toddy ban.
He further expressed surprise over the RJD move adding it looks like “Lalu has become a bonded labour of Nitish Kumar just to stay in power”.