|Officials have marked the wall as it falls within the area proposed for expansion of
the Sishu Bhavan-Airport Square road. Picture by Ashwinee Pati
Bhubaneswar, Sept. 18: The government has taken the final step to remove encroachments on land meant to widen a road that will make travel to the airport easier.
Though chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s convoy usually takes the Palaspalli-Forest Park-AG Square route to his offices at secretariat and Assembly, he also takes the Sishu Bhavan-Airport Square road on occasion.
The stretch will also benefit commuters coming out of the airport and heading for Puri, Cuttack, Utkal University, Saheed Nagar, Satya Nagar, Kharavela Nagar, Station Square, Ashok Nagar, Gautam Nagar, Cuttack Road, Nageswar Tangi and Bapuji Nagar.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and the general administration department have completed the survey for the land required to expand the stretch between Sishu Bhavan and the new Airport Road Square.
While measuring the plots on the roadside, land officials and field staff members of the corporation and the department have marked in yellow the walls and extensions that were encroaching on government land. The owners concerned will now have to demolish the marked portions near the road before the public works department can take up the work.
“In case the owners fail to demolish the structures on their own, a joint action committee of the corporation and the general administration department will carry out forcible demolition once the public works department gives us a requisition before starting the work,” said a senior corporation official. The ongoing civic polls have debarred officials of urban local bodies from speaking to the media.
No expansion was being carried out on the stretch of about 800 metres even though almost all major roads had been included in the road widening. Without expansion, traffic congestion during peak hours is causing problems to residents, commuters and people heading towards and emerging out of the airport.
The public works department estimates that about 2,000 to 5,000 cars and another 500 to 750 heavy vehicles ply on the stretch everyday. The stretch is at its busiest during peak hours — 8am to noon and again from 5.30pm to 9pm.
The beautification and plantation drives, carried out more than 25 years ago, are causing problems as the 80-feet wide road has narrowed down to about 40 feet. In the 1970s, the house owners on the Forest Park side of the road were given permissive possession to carry out plantation and create green islands.
Of the 29 plot owners on the Forest Park side, six are retired chief secretaries and the rest are bureaucrats. Permission for plantation was granted because the city had fewer vehicles in the 1970s.
Pradyumna Panda, a resident of nearby Rajendra Vihar, said: “The road has become too narrow to carry the traffic load and needs to be widened urgently. The engineers should speed up planning and subsequent execution as the survey has been completed.”
Assistant engineer of the public works department Sisir Mishra said: “We will include the road job in our budget this year.”
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