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Pipe hurdle for commuters

Pipeline work has blocked a large part of this road at Bhimatangi.
Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 23: The laying of a pipe on the Pokhariput-Bhimatangi Road has been causing a lot of inconvenience to the people who live around Bhimatangi and its surrounding areas.

During the peak hours — 9.30am to 11am and 5.30pm to 8pm — passing through this road, which runs parallel to the railways tracks, is a huge problem because of the debris lying on the stretch.

“The public works department (PWD) never included any utility corridor while constructing the road in the past and now the public health engineering organisation (PHEO) is making the people suffer. While the road was constructed decades ago, the widening work was done last year and I requested the PWD authorities to leave some space for plantation and other activities, but they never listened to the proposal. Now, government money is being wasted to excavate the road to make space for the pipeline,’’ said local councillor Chhabindra Jena.

Ganesh Parida, a resident of Pokhariput and a regular morning walker on this stretch everyday, said: “There should be proper co-ordination between the agencies working for the development of the city and no one should misuse people’s money like this.”

A PHEO official said that the new pipeline would transfer water from the Naraj reservoir (from its Mundali water treatment plant) to an underground reservoir at Bhimatangi for better water supply to the area.

Executive engineer (division I), PHEO, Debasundar Mohapatra, who is supervising the pipeline-laying work, said: “The debris should not make things difficult for the traffic and I will instruct the junior engineer concerned to cover the excavated site as soon as the pipe is laid.”

Executive engineer of division II, PWD, Ranjit Sahu said: “The utility corridors are included only in new projects or where adequate space is available. We have not been told about the width of the pipelines to be laid from before. So, how can we make a provision without any inputs from the PHEO?”

He added that the delay in laying the pipe had compounded the problem because the railway authorities had built a boundary wall.

“There was enough space on the side of the railway track, but since the PHEO delayed the project, the wall came up and then there was no option but to dig up the road,” said a resident of Bhimatangi.

Even after an expansion plan, the road lacks proper drainage outlet and a huge puddle appears near the Lingaraj Passenger Halt after every small shower.

“We have requested the PWD authorities to make provision for a drain at least near the railway station, but no step has been taken so far,” said the local councillor.

Because of the lack of coordination between the PWD and the PHEO, a long stretch of road between Ganganagar and Fire Station Square is riddled with a large number huge potholes.

“An old pipeline has to be relocated from the middle of the road by PHEO and only then can the PWD build a better stretch. A better co-ordination is essential among all the development arms of the state government,” a PWD engineer said.