|The overbridge road is filled with potholes and craters. Policemen, too, confirmed that accidents on this stretch are frequent. Picture by Ashwinee Pati
Bhubaneswar, Jan. 27: A teenage girl died and another person sustained injuries after being hit by a speeding bus on the Vani Vihar overbridge on National Highway 5 this morning.
The accident led to a traffic jam at Rasulgarh Square for almost half an hour. Sources said the overbridge has seen as many as 10 accidents in the last six months.
Tanmayee Das, the 19-year-old resident of Binjharpur village in Balakati area, who is a student of Utkal University, was going to her office along with her friend Rajanikant Pattnayak on his motorcycle when the accident occurred.
Eyewitnesses said that Rajanikant, who was driving the vehicle, turned the motorcycle to the left to avoid some potholes on the road. Since there was an autorickshaw parked on the roadside, the young man swerved to the right. Suddenly, a bus coming from Talcher hit the motorcycle from behind.
Tanmayee fell on the ground and was run over by the bus. Rajnanikant sustained injuries as the vehicle skidded off the road toppling him. The girl was rushed to the hospital where she was declared brought dead.
Tanmayee, who was studying master in computer application (MCA) at Vani Vihar, worked as a call centre executive with a private mobile company’s Shaheed Nagar branch.
The accident led to a traffic jam on the road. The Shaheed Nagar police rushed to the spot and cleared the traffic. Police seized both the vehicles and arrested the bus driver.
Sources said that the girl used to come to her office daily from Binjharpur on the outskirts of the city. Her family was not aware that today she was with a friend. One of the colleagues said that Rajanikant , who was her classmate in Vani Vihar, had given her a lift.
The road on the overbridge is in a horrible condition filled with potholes and craters.
“This is a busy road and drivers on the national highway generally drive fast. There are always accidents when they try to avoid potholes,” said Sunil Sahu, a government employee who takes the road to reach his office daily.
The traffic is so heavy during peak hours that the staff at the Vani Vihar traffic post cannot handle it properly.
Policemen, too, confirmed that accidents on the road are frequent.
“Nearly 10 accidents have been reported on this road in the last six months. At least one person was killed and six others were injured in these mishaps,” said a police officer adding that many accidents also went unreported.
“We can check the traffic and control the vehicular traffic movement, but what can we do if the poor roads cause accidents,” said another police officer posted at the Rasulgarh Square.
The national highway authorities of India (NHAI) officials said that the condition of the road was unlikely to improve in the near future.
They said although repair work on the stretch was done on a monthly basis it was apparently not enough as the road was being subjected to heavy wear and tear due to the continuous movement of heavy vehicles.
They said the only hope for the road was the plan to expand it in future.
“When the six laning of the national highway is done, the over bridge will also be expanded. That may reduce the number of accidents there,” said Aditya K. Ray, project director of NHAI.
• 10 accidents have occurred on Vani Vihar over-bridge in past six months injuring as many persons
• Two weeks ago, a truck hit a scooter injuring the rider
• A few days ago, an auto was hit by a bus
• A motorcycle collided with a car. The motorcyclist sustained injuries
• A few months ago, a scooter that was trying to avoid potholes fell in front of a truck