Temporary structures built along the Janakpur-Jatahi six-lane road in this photo taken on Wednesday. Photo: Republica
JANAKPUR, March 12: The recently blacktopped six-lane road between Janakpur and Jatahi looks vibrant with mushrooming shops alongside the road. People's activities have increased quite a lot since the last few months.
However, it is equally messy thanks to the way the locals have chosen to use the road. From fixing wedding stage to throwing parties, people in the neighborhood are seen using the road in a carefree manner.
While cultural and social functions are carried out by blocking the roads at times, people do not mind throwing disposable plates and other garbage on the road.
Some households alongside the road have erected cow sheds and sheds for goats on the roadside. Some families have erected poles to hang wet clothes while the children have made the road their playground.
Elderly people have not spared the road either as they sunbathe in the road on their beds made out of bamboo. On the other hand, farmers dry their food grains on the road. Before the blacktopping of the road, the scenario was quite different. People would complain of dust pollution and potholes. Worried locals urged the government to blacktop the road at the earliest.
Now, while the families around the roadsides have been using the road as they like, commuters are however fed up with this. Stating that the families have been using the road as their private property, action has been sought against such families.
The-six lane road looks like a village instead of a road, they complain. The blacktopping which started a few years ago is now near completion. According to drivers, the monopoly of some locals and shopkeepers has become a huge menace for travelers.
"This is a six-lane road just on papers. But people have encroached the road so much that it looks like a two-lane road," said Rabindra Sah, a bus driver. "The road has now become a playground for kids, a relaxing zone for elderly people, storehouse for farmers, and terrace to dry clothes for women and so on. Where is the road?" he fumed.
He stated that the playing and merrymaking children make the road quite risky. They run here and there and nobody stops them. "In such a situation, you are quite likely to meet with an accident. But if anything happens, it will come upon our shoulders," he lamented.
According to Sah, the road is already 'disfigured' before it could get the final shape. The biggest problem is that of scattered garbage. Even those who used to throw garbage elsewhere come and throw it here these days. "The road looks so much like a market place," he said. Bijendra Yadav of Ganguli stressed that the locals who have occupied the road should be punished without any delay. If they are given liberty, they will never leave the road free. "The authority is in a slumber, it seems. Even when the road is being captured haphazardly, nobody cares," he said. "Locals, businesspersons have been running their activities. They are not going to budge unless big force is used," he added.
Meanwhile, Anita Mandal comfortably shared with Republica that she finds nothing wrong in using the road. When the authority will come and tell her to remove her stuffs, she will do it, she answered. "The road is still so big, we have used only a little space. My stuffs are there on the road and it has not disturbed anyone. Moreover, if police personnel come and complain, I will take those off the road," she said. Mandal has her goats and some clothes hanging on the road.
Rita Jha, deputy mayor of Janakpur Sub-metropolis, expressed hr ignorance over the matter. She said that the situation might be such messy only at some places. "I think, the problem is there at Janakpur sub metropolis. We will check it seriously," she said.