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Parking load spills onto road

Cuttack, April 18: Illegal parking of buses has led to increasing congestion on Link Road, which connects Badambadi bus terminus to NH-5 at Madhupatna.

Traffic police officials said parking of buses along Link Road has been a long-standing problem. While 35 to 40 buses from various parts of the state are parked during idle hours, more than 10 off road buses are also parked along the busy thoroughfare without a permit. Besides, more than a 100 buses are parked along the Link Road at night.

“Several stretches of the Link Road had been declared no parking zones. But the problem has persisted because of a shortage of parking space,” an assistant commissioner of police (ACP) said.

The problem of persisting chaos on the nearly 2km stretch of major road of the city was raised before the Orissa High Court by way of a PIL last Friday.

Taking note of it, the PIL bench adjudicating on civic problems of the city directed the high court constituted Traffic Management Committee for Cuttack to submit a report on the burgeoning problem.

The committee, headed by the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar commissioner of police, is expected to submit a report when the PIL seeking judicial intervention against the illegal parking of buses is to be taken up for hearing next week.

Rini Rath, 48, a resident of the city, had filed the PIL contending: “At present, the area near Badambadi bus stand is not adequate to park all the buses coming from different parts of the state and outside. Vehicles are being parked on the road because of lack of space, causing inconvenience to passengers.”

More than 1,000 buses move in and out of the Badambadi bus terminus area everyday. “Buses are being parked illegally during this entire day time and at night on both sides of the Link Road (from Badambadi to Madhupatna), causing frequent accidents. But the authorities are not taking any action,” the petition stated.

Official sources said nearly a year ago, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) had planned to come up with two major traffic terminals to address the problem of parking of private buses along the Link Road.

But the plan reportedly has remained a non-starter. CMC officials said the civic body had identified two patches of land of around 10 acres to ease congestion on Link Road and provide parking space to the vehicles.

The patches of land at Gopalpur and Khannagar along NH-5 belong to Indian Railways.

The railway authorities had already been moved to allow permissive possession of both patches of land lying unutilised for development of parking zones. But the desired response is awaited, CMC officials said.