Bhubaneswar, Dec 12: Out with the old, ring in the new seems to be the latest mantra of the city management group (CMG).
Old, unused bus sheds that have been holding traffic to ransom will be removed and autorickshaws can hope to get new parking lots .
If the CMG implements what it is promising, traffic will find its way out of its rush-hour maze.
Of late, bus sheds on some roads of the city are creating such a traffic mess that commuters are held up for 10 to 15 minutes during rush hour.
Two bus sheds on Cuttack Road near Kalpana Square on Buddha Nagar and in front of Hotel Kalinga Ashoka, adjacent to the boundary wall of the Odisha State Museum, are causing severe congestion during peak hours.
Similarly, two bus sheds on either side of CRP Square, near Gopabandhu Square and one at Paika Nagar Square are causing problems for traffic movement even though the present city bus route does not pass through them.
“Some bus sheds are also used by thugs. The positions of the sheds after road expansion is causing hurdles in vehicular movement,” said assistant commissioner (recovery) Sumita Behera of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Ambika Prasad Sahu, a resident of Goutam Nagar, hailed the CMG’s decision. “The Cuttack road or NH-203 has become a nightmare for commuters during 10am to 11.30am and again between 5pm and 7pm because of heavy traffic rush. It will help if the superfluous bus sheds are removed.”
Civic authorities, however, said that as the bus sheds were built in a public-private-partnership mode, the collaborators would be given choices to relocate to places where there is a need for such sheds, otherwise the structures would be demolished shortly.
A joint inspection team comprising officials of the BMC and senior traffic officials of the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police has identified 10 locations to be used as autorickshaw parking lots from those proposed across the city.
“The autorickshaw union has always been complaining about the lack of proper parking facilities. They have demanded many more locations. However, many of the spots they suggested, such as in front of premier hotels and near National Highway No. 5, were unviable. So, finally we have decided to inspect spots and zeroed in on 10 locations. However, there might be minor changes made later,” said a civic official.
The 10 proposed spots identified by the joint CMG inspection team for autorickshaws are: Fire Station Square, in front of the football stadium near Baramunda Kali temple, near Telco office adjoining Baramunda Housing Board Colony, near CRPF campus (towards VIP Colony), Jayadev Vihar Square, Sailashree Vihar Square, in front of Chandrasekharpur BDA Colony, near Priyadarshini Market, BMC office and in front of Congress Bhavan near Lower PMG Square.
Assistant commissioner of police (traffic) Binod Dash said: “The removal of the bus sheds will definitely help in smooth flow of traffic. However, the final call on the selection of the demarcated spots will be taken by the civic authorities as the ownership of land has to be known.”