Bhubaneswar, Aug. 22: A trip on the stretch that connects the Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER) with the arterial Khandagiri-Pokhariput road is a nightmare for rush-hour commuters of Jagmohan Nagar.
Chaos descends on the road between 9.30am and 11am and from 5 to 6.30 in the evening.
Violation of traffic rules is the norm as the road becomes chock-a-block with vehicles during the peak hours. As chaos rules the street, the residents of Jagmohan Nagar are left to suffer.
“My son’s school starts at 10am, but the number of vehicles is so high that very often he gets late for his classes. Once he even missed his exams. I am forced to leave home early to ensure that he reaches school in time,” said Damodar Mohanty, who works for a private company.
Sushanta Kumar Jena, a shop owner at the ITER Square, said: “We have been experiencing frequent traffic jams here for the last one year. The area’s population has increased with the ITER college growing in size.”
Seven days ago a huge traffic jam on the stretch leading to the ITER had choked the road for almost two hours.
“In case of any medical emergency, even an ambulance cannot reach its destination on time,” said Jena.
Bijay Kumar Sahoo, who runs a shop near the ITER Square, said traffic policemen act only after the road gets packed with vehicles.
“They should start streamlining vehicular movement from early morning. For a permanent solution, there should be a proper traffic post at the square.”
Assistant commissioner of police (traffic) Binod Das said: “We have deployed traffic cops near the square and the Khandagiri police is managing the flow of vehicles. We are also planning to have a traffic post in the area in the near future. But that can happen, the road needs to be widened.’’
Echoing the pain of the commuters, inspector Ranjan Mallick said: “Diversion of traffic during peak hours is not possible because the road network in the area is not good.”
Local residents of Jagamohan Nagar said the public works department had a plan to build a 100foot-wide road from Dumuduma to Pokhariput passing through one end of the ITER campus.
Executive engineer PWD (division III) Pradip Nayak said: “We have built a road from the Pokhariput-end, but I am not sure whether it would connect ITER or not.”
Jeet Maity, a final-year student of ITER, said: “The number of vehicles on the campus had gone up exponentially. Students and faculty members should reduce the use of vehicles so that road congestion can lessen.”
Sonali Gupta, another student of the institute, blamed the situation on the poor public transport system in the city.
“If the city had an effective public transport system, students and faculty will use less number of vehicles,” Sonali said.
Authorities of the ITER have already written to the commissionerate police for better traffic management in the area.
“We are also ready to help the authorities to ensure better traffic management during peak hours. We have written a letter and are ready to discuss the issue with the traffic police,” said public relations officer of Sikhya-o-Anusandhan University Paresh Das.