Speed Post News Network
Nawada:. The phenomena of traffic jams witnessed on the congested Nawada town streets and roads daily are now few and far between. Nearly 500 rickshawpullers, who contributed chiefly to the congestion on roads, have reduced their hours of plying on roads as their ‘’magic potion”, i.e. liquor (mainly countrymade) has disappeared from the shelf resulting in depletion of their physical stamina. From 12 to 16 hours of plying, they now barely ply for 4 hours, just to keep the kitchen fires burning. For the same reason, the number of coolies and porters at railway stations and bus stands has witnessed drastic reduction. Prohibition has succeeded where the cops have failed.
The traffic congestion on Nawada town’s narrow roads had become such a nightmare that Nawada SP Vikas Dev Burman had in April this year provided improvised hands-free umbrellas to traffic cops so that they can effectively withstand the rigours of harsh sunlight as well as rain aimed at effective control of traffic on roads. The traffic cops are now breathing easy due to lesser number of rickshaws.
But, commuters who reach Nawada town for purchasing of merchandize from far flung areas are at their wits end as either the rickshawpullers demand an exorbitant price to carry the goods to the bus stand or the railway station. The price of fresh vegetables too have witnessed an increase as rickshaws were the chief source of transportation from adjoining villages to the main vegetable market in town. Now they have to be brought to town either by bus or pick-up vans at costlier freight rates. Customers who just buy one or two bags of cement for minor repair jobs at home thank their stars if they find a rickshaw. Visiting hospitals or seeing a private doctor has become costly and an uphill task for patients in absence of abundant number of rickshaws on roads. They now either have to hire an auto rickshaw or ‘Jarjharia’ (mechanized rickshaw) at higher fare.
Majority of the rickshawpullers are drawn either from the mahadalit or the extremely backward sections of the society who are landless and forced to ply rickshaw for livelihood. They are so poor that they can’t own a rickshaw hence hire it from professional rickshaw owners for Rs 40 to 50 rupee per day. Earlier their take-home earning at the end of the day varied between Rs 150 to 200 which has now come down to below Rs 100. It has severely impacted the labour class. ther brighter side is lessening of noise pollution and carbon emission on roads due to smoother flow of traffic.