Feast on highway throws traffic out of gear

Patna: A meal served to dozens of villagers by a National Highway in Bihar, after a funeral ceremony, led to the blockade of traffic on Monday as the guests sat in the middle of the road.

Hundreds of drivers negotiating National Highway-57 were at their wits’ end on Monday when they encountered villagers sitting in the middle of the road at Phulparas, in Madhubani district, while eating the meal.

There was no option of inching forward as the villagers had put up barriers.

For more than two hour the villagers, who included children, feasted on the road, hardly taking any note of the hundreds of vehicles left stranded and anxiously waiting for the road to get cleared.

It was only after each villager had their fill that the traffic was finally opened for the vehicles, officials said.

The local authorities took serious note of the incident and vowed to take action against the villagers.

“Blocking a National Highway to throw a feast is a serious crime. We can’t allow the villagers to do it and have asked the patrolling party to take action against them,” general manager of NH-57, Darbhanga, Manish Mishra told the media on Tuesday.

The local district administration also announced action against the culprits.

“Feasting on the middle of the road is a serious offence but no one has complained to us so far. We will indeed take action if we get any complaint,” local district superintendent of police Deepak Baranwal said.

Witnesses said such scenes are quite common in the Madhubani district of Bihar but villagers say they are forced to use the roads to serve meals for any function in the community owing to a shortage of space in the village. According to them, hundreds of villagers can eat food at the same time on the road, while at home it takes several hours to complete the task.


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