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VROOM! Out of the way! Speed devils cross limits

Cuttack, Dec. 18: Zip, zap, zoom! Watch out if you’re a commuter on the busy streets of Cuttack. Any minute, a daredevil on a bike might put you in grave danger.

City cops are yet to rein in youngsters indulging in rash driving and daredevil stunts on motorcycles, putting the lives of other commuters at risk on various busy roads here.

The three-km stretch from Buxi Bazaar up to Cantonment Road via Mission Road, Chandi Mandir Square and Kanika Chawk is the worst affected.

It is this stretch where many educational institutions, including schools and colleges, are located. College goers are often seen driving their high-powered bikes at full throttle here.

A student of Shailabala Women’s College was injured when she was hit by a speeding motorcycle just yesterday. The student, Rosalin Mallick, suffered severe injuries on her right leg in the accident.

Rosalin was crossing the road when she was hit by the motorcycle near her college.

“Youngsters can be seen driving their high-powered bikes full throttle and the cops have no answer. Such dangerous driving occurs almost every day,” said Dilip Sahu, a commuter.

Sahu, who stays at Sutahat, frequently uses Mission Road to drop his children at a play school on Cantonment Road.

Local residents say that youngsters, mostly college students, drive rashly on this stretch. Such incidents have increased in the past two months.

Violations by students are rampant near Shailabala Women’s College, which is just 200 metres from the Chandi Mandir traffic signal.

“This kind of dangerous driving is not only risky for the youngsters but also other commuters. Four minor accidents have already occurred near Shailabala Women’s College because of rash driving in the past six days,” said Sukhdev Panda, a local resident.

“The expansion of the road from near Stewart School up to Mission Road has helped youngsters to drive their bikes at full speed. Despite a lot of educational institutes located here one can hardly find any traffic officer on the spot,” said Sudhir Rout, a commuter.

Rout said Mission Road, which acts as a link between Buxi Bazaar, Chandi Mandir Square, Kanika Square and Cantonment, was one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city.

On February 24 last year, a child was seriously injured in a freak mishap near Stewart Science College at Mission Road. The victim, Simran Khan, 6, was hit by a speeding Maruti van, which was later set on fire by a mob. Though local residents had asked for speed-breakers and speed limits following the accident, no action has been taken so far.

Traffic officials said checks had been put on rash driving during Dussehra and Bali yatra. On an average, about 15 to 20 violators are booked for speeding, 250 for drunk driving and five to 10 for using multi-tone horns in a month in the city.

“We will crackdown on rash driving in various parts of the city. There are plans to install speed-breakers at various points on Mission Road. This has not materialised as yet because of delay in completion of expansion work on the road,” said a senior traffic police officer.