| (From top) Traffic congestion, potholes and encroachments along the Ranihat-Medical Road in Cuttack. Pictures by Badrika Nath Das
Cuttack, June 26: Inordinate delay in the completion of repair work on the Ranihat-Medical Road near SCB Medical College and Hospital here has made life difficult for local residents as well as daily commuters.
An official of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) said that the road had been handed over for repair to the public works department (roads and buildings division) long ago.
However, they admitted that the repair was yet to be completed.
“The road was handed over to the PWD more than two years ago. But, it is yet to complete the work,” said local councillor Pabitra Bhuyan.
Hundreds of commuters depend on the road to travel towards Bajrakabati, railway station, OMP Square, Chauliaganj and Jobra sides via Mangalabag, Jobra and other areas.
The road also serves as a lifeline for patients coming to the SCB Medical College and Hospital from different parts of the state.
“We will stage a demonstration and gherao the PWD executive engineer’s office if the repair work is not completed immediately,” said the councillor.
“The entire stretch of the road from Ranihat to Bose Engineering School is dotted with potholes. Though minor repair work was undertaken at other parts, no step has been taken to repair the Ranihat-SCB stretch,” said local resident Kedarnath Behera.
“A number of ambulances ferrying patients from Bhubaneswar, Jajpur and other areas depend on the road which provides a good connectivity between the NH-5 and several parts of the city. The problems of the patients and the commuters would only get compounded in the rainy season,” said Nishikant Nayak, a commuter.
On the other hand, a PWD official said that though the work for the repair and widening of the road had been included in the urban development scheme, the delay in carrying out the repair work occurred because of encroachments.
“Six months ago, steps were initiated to widen the road. But, the road is encroached almost everywhere as a number of hotels and slums have come up here and there, posing a hindrance to the repair and widening works,” said a senior PWD official on condition of anonymity.
He, however, added that they would soon initiate measures for eviction of the encroachments to facilitate repair and widening work of the road.