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Sand, stone chips pile on traffic woes

Building materials dumped on the Bhimatangi-Pokhariput road and (above) a motorist tries to navigate a potholed and waterlogged road at Green Park Colony in Bhubaneswar. Pictures by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, July 26: Water stagnation on rain-ravaged roads usually slows down traffic. However, at Bhimtangi, piles of sand and stone chips have blocked a part of the pavement and road.

The building materials are obstructing the free passage of people and vehicles.

The road begins from the Palaspalli flyover and runs through Bhimatangi, Pokhariput, Gandamunda and Jagamara, before it joins NH-5 at Khandagiri Square. City buses for Mancheswar, VSS Nagar and Dumduma ply on this road.

Local councillor Chhabindra Jena said: “I have requested the civic authorities many times to take action against those builders who illegally stock sand and chips on the roadside. It not only blocks the entire footpath, but also part of the road, making driving an ordeal.”

Four minor accidents have taken place on this stretch in the last two months. “This has shrunk the width of the road. Safety of the commuters is at stake,” Jena added.

Pitambar Parida, who resides in Pokhariput, said: “The road has become important following a construction boom in Sundarpada, Pokhariput, Gandamunda, Bhaktamadhu Nagar, Jagamara and Khandagiri. The civic body should take immediate action against those people stocking such building materials.”

“Though Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is empowered to clear such obstructions from roads under Rule No. 408 of the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, it has been a mute spectator this time,” said another resident of Pokhariput.

Assistant commissioner (recovery), BMC, Sumita Behera, said: “We remove encroachments from roads whenever local councillors inform us. In this case, we had no information. But, I will send my team immediately and see that the obstructions are cleared.”

Jena added: “Selling of building materials has become a practice on the road sides. At least six roadside depots sell such materials.”

Traffic inspector Ranjan Kumar Mallick said: “Like BMC, we too can fine the people dumping building materials on the roadside. We had no information about such a thing happening at Bhimatangi. Now, that we do, we will remove them.”