BHUBANESWAR: The Commissionerate of Police has banned marriage processions on five major routes of the City to ease traffic movement and provide passage to essential services.
Beginning February 1, wedding processions would not be permitted - neither during the day nor night - on New Airport Crossing-Acharya Vihar via AG Square, Raj Bhawan Square-KIIT Square, Kalpana Square-Raj Bhawan Square, Vani Vihar-Sishu Bhawan Square and Cuttack Road-Rasulgarh Square. The prohibitory order will remain in force till further instructions.
Police Commissioner of the Twin City YB Khurania issued the order basing on a report by DCP (Traffic) that such processions have been leading to congestion on the major roads of the City and commuters fail to reach their destination such as railway station, bus stop, airport as well as hospitals. Besides, essential services like ambulance and fire service also face difficulty due to obstruction caused by wedding processions along the main roads. The DCP (Traffic) recommended that licence for processions should not be granted to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
The Commissioner of Police also examined the 2016 order of the Orissa High Court which had expressed grave concern in allowing marriage procession to pass through main roads. Under Section 29 of Urban Police Act, 2003, the Commissioner of Police is authorised to specify the routes and time in which processions may pass or not. The authority also has power to prevent assembly or procession.
While the latest order from the Police Commissioner is timely and has been appreciated, it has raised a valid question about why wedding processions should be singled out for the ban because rallies by political parties are a major reason behind severe public inconvenience in the City.
“Such a prohibitory order should take into account public inconvenience caused by rallies and processions. Not just average commuters, even ambulances are caught in the congestion during such events despite an order for safe ambulance passage by the CM. Why leave out the political parties then?” asked a resident of the City. During Assembly sessions, major parts of Janpath and even Sachivalaya Marg are taken over by various groups who agitate in the City.
Ban effective from Feb 1
New Airport Crossing-Acharya Vihar via
Raj Bhawan Square-KIIT Square
Kalpana Square-Raj Bhawan Square
Vani Vihar-Sishu Bhawan Square
Cuttack Road-Rasulgarh Square