Patna to get wider roads along with footpaths, parking space and Trees.

Roads in Patna will soon be wider with footpaths, parking spaces and more trees.

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The New Capital circle of the road construction department has floated a proposal to increase the average width of roads depending upon availability of space on either side. Concrete parking space on roadsides will be developed where widening of carriageway is not possible. Besides, a proposal has also been sent to the urban development and housing department to develop footpaths on all roads, which do not have it at present. The medians are also proposed to be beautified by planting trees.

To start with, Ashok Rajpath, Kankerbagh road number- 2, Gayatri Mandir road and roads all around Gandhi Maidan are proposed to be widened at present. Funds to the tune of Rs 22 crore will be spent in proposed widening of the four roads.

“The idea is to concretise the roadside which are kutcha (unmetalled) at present. This would serve two purposes – widen the carriageway and reduce dust on streets. At places, where vehicular movement is not possible even by extending the carriageway due to presence of trees, poles and other civic utilities, we would concretise it by putting paver blocks to allow parking of vehicles,” said Chandara Mohan K. Mishra, executive engineer, New Capital circle of the road construction department.

The principal main road and main roads in Patna are either two-laned, four-laned or six-laned. The width of a single lane is 3.5m. Thus, six- laned roads like Bailey Road and Hardinge Road are 10.5m wide on either side at present. The concept of road-widening by putting paver- blocks to allow parking of vehicles can be seen at present on Ashiana-Digha Road. Besides, paver blocks have also been put underneath the Jagdeopath-Sheikhpura Mor flyover to allow vehicular parking.

Road widening apart, the median on various roads are also proposed to be beautified by the state environment and forests department. “Around 3,500 tress are to be planted in and around Patna district under urban forestry scheme over the next three years. We intend to plant most trees within the ongoing financial year (2015-16),” said Gopal Singh, divisional forest officer, Patna.

Plants and trees along the roadsides in Patna are generally cut for the purpose of road widening and building construction activities among others. Any department that cuts the trees on roadsides, provides funds to the forest department for compensatory plantation. Steps are also being taken to ensure upkeep of footpaths. “Footpaths will be developed on all road. The footpaths would be developed within a span of three to four months depending upon final approval on the scheme. We have sought funds to the tune of Rs 42 crore from the urban development and housing department for development of footpaths,” said Mishra.

The average width of pavements in the city as per the standard of Indian Roads Congress is 1.5m, depending upon the width of the road. For instance, the width of the footpath at Boring Road has been kept at 1m as the road isn’t wide enough to make its width 1.5m. The Indian Roads Congress (IRC) is the apex body of highway engineers in the country. The IRC was set up in December 1934 on the recommendations of the Indian Road Development Committee best known as Jayakar Committee set up by the Government of India with the objective of road development.

Patna, by and large, does not have a culture of pedestrians walking on the footpaths. Civic apathy and rampant encroachment by hawkers leave little room for pedestrians on footpaths along some of the busiest roads and crossroads in the city. As a result, most footpaths have turned into vegetable markets or shanties of slum dwellers, forcing residents to walk on the streets, making them vulnerable to mishaps.

The only few places where the footpaths are in good shape and free from encroachment are Peer Ali Path, Hardinge Road, Deshratan Marg, Circular Road and Strand Road among others. Interestingly, most such roads are located in VIP areas. Maintenance of the footpaths in the town area in Patna is the responsibility of the road construction department, while the responsibility of making them free from encroachment is of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC).


Source: The Telegraph