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Villagers block road after mishap

Balasore, Feb. 15: Irate villagers on the outskirts of the town today blocked Old Trunk Road connecting the district headquarters town and NH-60 for more than three hours following the death of a cyclist in an accident.

The deceased has been identified as Sankar Das, 23, of Kusudiha, while one Prabodh Rout, 58, of Kaudipur village sustained injuries and was rushed to the district headquarters hospital. Both were engaged in a construction and the empty truck hit them from behind when they were on their way to the work site on a bicycle. Blaming the bad road condition for frequent accidents, the villagers demanded closure of the road for heavy vehicles and compensation for the deceased’s family.

“The road has been in a dilapidated state for several years and accidents have become the order of the day. Though we have been urging the district administration to close the road for heavy vehicles, no concrete steps have been taken,” said Ranjan Pradhan, a local resident.

“Apart from the road, an iron bridge on the stretch has also become unsafe. We want urgent measures by the district administration to prevent recurrence of such incidents,” he said.

The agitators agreed to shift the body from the spot following persuasion by the local tehsildar and senior police officers. Sadar tehsildar Pinaki Patnaik said that earlier the administration had put iron bars on the road to restrict the plying of vehicles. However, goons have removed those.

“We will again fix the poles. An assistance of Rs 10,000 will be given to the deceased’s family,” said Patnaik.