Bypass Road's gain was other roads' pain.
The district traffic department, in its zeal to ensure smooth passage for Union cabinet secretary from the airport to IICM, ended up ignoring other busy thoroughfares in the capital that remained chock-a-block with vehicles on Friday.
The stretch between Plaza Chowk and Albert Ekka Chowk on old Hazaribagh Road, Kanta Toli Chowk-Dangra Toli Chowk on Purulia Road and Jail More to Ranchi Women's College Science Block on Circular Road, besides alleys of Upper Bazar, were pictures of utter chaos in the first half of the day. The worst sufferers were schoolchildren, office-goers and college students.
"Traffic had virtually come to a standstill on the Albert Ekka Chowk to Plaza Chowk stretch around 1.15pm. It took me about half an hour to cover 2km on a rickshaw from Plaza Chowk to Albert Ekka Chowk via Kutchery. Normally, I walk down to Albert Ekka Chowk in five minutes," said homemaker Sunita Nandi.
Another woman, Geeta Singh, highlighted the plight of the students. "So many of them are stuck in the traffic jam. I feel sorry for them," she said.
Officer-in-charge of traffic police station K.K. Jha brushed aside the chaos as a one-off incident. "If all hit the road at the same time, traffic load will obviously increase," he said.
Traffic personnel blamed uneven distribution of constables. "The strength of traffic police in the city is hardly 200, including 150 constables and 50 officers. Fifty per cent of them were sent to man the stretch between airport and IICM," a constable said.