Mrunal Manmay Dash

With more than 10 lakh devotees expected to throng the pilgrim town of Puri on Tuesday to witness the Grand Rath Yatra, traffic management is going to be a challenge for the police administration.

Though the district administration has made elaborate traffic management and parking plans for the grand event, some people also have expressed their apprehensions about its efficacy.

As per Puri Police, all the inter-state tourist buses and local tourist buses coming from Bhubaneswar will stop and park at Malatipatpur bus terminal. All the regular passenger-carrying buses including the 'Mo Bus' will be allowed up to Talabania temporary bus terminal via Malatipatapur railway over bridge, Toshali Sands, Grid Station Chhak, and Bhudan Chhaka.

Puri town shuttle buses/ auto rickshaws will be allowed from Talabania to Zilla School Chhaka via Sunara Gouranga Chhaka, BNR Hotel Chhaka, Youth Hostel Chhaka, and Nilachala Urban Hata. Their return will be via Zilla School Chhaka to helipad via Ghodabazar, Rama Mandir, Odisha Bakery, Sadar Block office for buses, and via Mangala Temple for auto rickshaws.

Similarly, all the Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) / Cars / SUVs will avail parking facilities at the parking places at the indoor Stadium, helipad, Sanskrit University parking, ID College Parking, Nalifield, and Yatrika. They will be diverted as per the availability of space in parking places accordingly.

However, bus staff expressed their apprehensions about this parking arrangement. A bus driver said, “Devotees will have a hard time commuting from Talabania bus terminal to Srimandir. If I know the system perfectly, the auto-rickshaw drivers will have a field day exploiting the devotees by charging exorbitant fares from them. Devotees will particularly face problems during night time.”

To which Rajaballabh Mishra, a member of Puri bus owners association said, “Parking arrangements for at least 500 buses have been made at Talabania bus stop and 15 town buses and as many e-vehicles have been arranged to take devotees to Grand Road from Talabania Square.”

Vehicles coming from Brahmagiri will pass through Mangalaghat bypass and park at Flourish India. Similarly, four-wheelers coming from the Konark side will pass through grid station and park at ITI, Bhudan and indoor stadium.

Two-wheelers will park at Jagannath Ballav, Masanichandi, Matitota parking, Nilachala Ashok and Blue Flag Beach. All vehicles will be diverted accordingly.

Vehicular traffic regulation will start from 00:00 hrs on June 19, 2023 to 00:00 hrs on June 21, 2023. The same traffic regulation will be in force from 00:00 hrs on June 28, 2023 to 00:00 hrs on June 29, 2023 as per the traffic mobility plan.

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