| Expansion work of the National Highway is going on near Fire Station Square in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, Feb. 25: Officials of the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) and the city police met today to discuss the traffic problem that the city may face due to expansion work of National Highway (NH) 5 (Calcutta-Chennai), that passes through the city.
The 67km stretch between Baramunda in the capital and Chandikhol in Jajpur district will be expanded from the existing four lanes to six lanes.
NHAI officials said a major portion of the road is between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Two private companies would execute the project, which may take two-and-half years.
“This would definitely create traffic problems in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar,” said an official of NHAI.
There would be nine flyovers between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar to facilitate smooth traffic movement. The places where the flyovers are to come up are Fire Station crossing, CRP Square, Acharya Vihar Square, Vani Vihar Square and Rasulgarh Square in Bhubaneswar and Phulankhara Square, Press Chowk, Jagatpur and Manguli Square in Cuttack. There are six major bridges, 14 minor bridges, 68 culverts and 20 under passes present in the 67-kilometre road.
“We have planned to manage the traffic flow at important junctions by segmenting the roads, restricting vehicular movement and diverting the traffic flow, wherever necessary. Besides, the NHAI have started constructing under ways and subways along the NH for smooth traffic flow,” said B. K. Sharma, police commissioner.
Besides, the NHAI is also concerned about encroachments on the land, which was to be used for expansion work. It has sought the help of the police for its removal. There are 25 religious structures, which would have to be removed. The police have agreed to co-operate with the NHAI, said Aditya Ray, project director of NHAI.
A senior police officer said that construction companies, engaged in the expansion work, would have to seek permission from the police for movement of heavy vehicles carrying building materials.
The construction companies have been told to construct as many subways, under passes and pedestrian roads to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the commuters.