| Traffic chaos at Ashok Nagar near Rajmahal Square because of missing road dividers. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, Jan. 3: Lack of proper road dividers on the stretch from Master Canteen Square to Sishu Bhavan Square is posing threat to the lives of motorists and pedestrians. Road expansion work is in progress on this stretch, but the authorities are yet to construct dividers to streamline traffic.
Driving from Master Canteen Square to Rajmahal Square has become a nightmare for commuters. Motorists can often be spotted dangerously crossing over from one side to the other on this uneven road.
This road connects Master Canteen Square with Kalpana Square via Rajmahal, Unit-I daily market, Sishu Bhavan, Forest Park and the airport. Owing to the expansion work, the road has become narrow as excavated earth is dumped on roadside and equipment parked along the road.
Pedestrians are often caught between the speeding vehicles on this stretch. “The motorists come from all sides and there is no regulation. Road dividers must be constructed to ensure pedestrians’ safety and keep a check on people driving on the wrong side,” said Sabita Behera, a homemaker.
The work of eight-laning of the 750m stretch between Master Canteen and Rajmahal Square for Rs 5 crore began in May and is continuing at a snail’s pace.
On one side of the road, drainage construction is under way. Piling of construction materials on roadside has led to number of minor accidents in the past.
At present, the public works department is carrying out road repair work from Biju Patnaik Airport to Jayadev Vihar Square, which has raised the hackles of people residing along this stretch. “No one seems to be bothered about us. The roads have been in a bad shape since long, but the authorities have taken up repair work near the airport. Why this discrimination?” asked businessman Samapta Behuria.
Executive engineer (division I) Manoranjan Tripathy said: “Once the road expansion work is done, we will start constructing the road dividers.”
However, police said enough traffic personnel were deployed on the stretch. “Instead of cooperating with us, the commuters are creating more trouble by violating the traffic rules,” said a senior traffic cop.