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Road dreams a far cry

- Projects face years of delay

Bhubaneswar, May 13: Delay in shifting electric poles and transformers has badly affected road expansion programmes undertaken by the public works department (PWD) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in the capital.

Expansion work of about 10 city roads, two flyovers and the National Highway-5 from Rasulgarh to Baramunda has been delayed by one to three years for lack of coordination in shifting the electrical installations.

PWD division I executive engineer Manoranjan Tripathy said: “A major headache for us is a stretch of road between Master Canteen and Rajmahal Square as its expansion has remained completely stalled because of an inordinate delay in shifting of electrical installations from near the UCO Bank building up to Rajmahal Square. Similarly, the delay in shifting of electrical poles on the Ram Mandir – Housing Board Square near the Exhibition Ground is also delaying the road expansion work there.’’

Under division II of the works department, road work is delayed in three major stretches — Sishu Bhavan Square to Rajmahal Square (right side of the one way road), between the Sishu Bhavan flyover to Forest Park (left side) and near a petrol pump at Unit-II. Executive engineer Ranjit Sahu said the Rajmahal Square flyover work on the Unit-II side was also getting delayed as an approach road could not be constructed because of delay in shifting of an installation in front of a petrol pump near Unit-II.

Similarly, three major roads are getting delayed under division III of the PWD. “The electric poles in front of DAV School, Unit-VIII, are yet to be removed while the road expansion is already in progress. Similarly, the expansion of road connecting CRP Square to Jayadev Vihar passing through Ekamra Kanan is also getting delayed for more than three years because of the delay in shifting of the electrical installations there,” said another engineer.

Under the PWD division IV, roadwork on Daya West Canal is also getting delayed for the same reasons.

Executive engineer C.P. Gantayat of division IV said: “Apart from road along the Daya West Canal, two rail overbridges near Saheed Nagar level crossing and Mancheswar level crossings are also getting delayed. We have already paid the money for the shifting of the poles near the proposed flyovers, but the installations are yet to be removed.”

The NH-5 expansion work by the NHAI is also facing a similar problem because of delay in shifting of electric poles and other installations.

“While the road near the bus stop at Acharya Vihar has been widened by the NHAI authorities, there are many electric poles still lying there,’’ said Pinaki Mohanty, a local resident. Cesu general manager Utpal Sinha admitted that there were inordinate delays in removing electrical installations at some stretches. But he, however, said that though Cesu was constantly shifting electrical installations at various places, it was falling short of time as a lot of road expansion works are going on in and around the capital.

“Also, some projects do not come with adequate provision of funds for electrical installations. Unless the provision for funds is ensured, we cannot take up works on our own. We are shifting the utilities by employing contractors and the agencies concerned have to bear the cost of the equipment and materials. But, we are charging six per cent consultancy charges for supervising the entire process. If the costs are not ensured in the road expansion projects, it becomes difficult for us to provide service,” Sinha said.