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Road map for smooth ride

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 14: Driving along the roads of Bhubaneswar will soon become smooth with the public works department set to take up four-laning of three stretches.

The roads include the stretch parallel to Sachivalay Marg from Old bus stand to the office of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority via Indira Gandhi Park and PMG Square, Rental Colony Square to Kalinga Studio and VSS Nagar to the guesthouse of Mahanadi Coal Fields Limited. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 16 crore.

The move is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and journey time.

Now, travelling on these congested stretches is a test of patience for commuters. Moreover, night travel is a nightmare, as vehicles have to negotiate potholes at regular intervals, forcing them to move at a snail’s pace.

Chief engineer (roads) Bijan Kumar Behera said: “Traffic flow has increased on these stretches. So, we have planned to widen these stretches. For example, the road near Unit-II has become congested as many shopping complexes have come up in the area.”

Bumpy rides

But before the plan bears fruition, the authorities must cross a few hurdles.

In the old bus stand area, an eviction drive is underway to remove encroachments. The public works department, along with the civic authorities and BDA, is conducting the drive.

Behera said: “A portion of the wall of the old Assembly building is another major hurdle. We will discuss the issue with the higher authorities and lawmakers to find a solution.”

Similarly, a pipeline is coming in the way of the expansion plan of the 1-km stretch between Rental Colony Square and Kalinga Studio.

“Shifting of the pipeline is a major problem here. The pipeline supplies water from the Naraj treatment plant. The public health engineering organisation will submit an estimate regarding the shifting cost and the realignment plan of the water pipeline. Once it is ready, we can plan the expansion of the road,” said PWD executive engineer of division-III, P.C. Nayak.

As the areas in Kalinga Nagar developed by BDA are gradually assuming the shape of a huge housing zone, this road will definitely help the residents in future.

Regarding problems in widening the stretch from Veer Surendra Sai Nagar to MCL Guest House, C.P. Gantayat, executive engineer, division-IV, said: “Demolishing a slum along the right side of the road behind Sainik School area will be a challenging task. We will take the help of the civic authorities to address the issue.”

This stretch will be around 1km. The road will connect Railway Colony, Sainik School and Government Colony.

However, the hurdles notwithstanding, city residents have lauded the four-laning plan.

“During rallies and demonstrations, the road next to the Post Master General’s office becomes congested. So, the new expansion plan will definitely help commuters,” said Dillip Sabat, an employee of a city-based institution.

LIFE IN THE FOUR LANE

A substantial rise in the number of vehicles on Bhubaneswar roads has necessitated widening of three major stretches. But the move to facilitate smooth flow of traffic comes with its share of hurdles. The Telegraph takes a look at the cost and progress of work and highlights major roadblocks along the way.

Will widening of the stretches pave the way for better traffic management? Tell ttorissa@abp.in