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Blame game over crater

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 9: Lack of co-ordination between the public works department (PWD) and the public health engineering organisation (PHEO) has resulted in a huge crater on a road near the Palaspalli flyover following a pipeline repair.

Commuters taking the road to reach Pokhariput and nearby areas such as Bhaktamadhunagar, Gandamunda, Jagamara and Khandagiri are facing problems, especially at nights as the area is ill-lit.

“Not only two-wheelers, but also four-wheelers are getting damaged, as at night, it becomes tough to identify the crater. Sand-filling, which was done partially and in an unprofessional way, is creating more problems for the two-wheelers,” said president of the Palaspalli Residents’ Welfare Association Sukanta Sahoo.

Members of the association approached the assistant engineer of the PHEO two weeks ago for relaying the road as it had executed a pipeline job after the PWD people repaired the road in October last. “Officials of the PHEO promised us that the road work will be done in time, but nothing has happened,” Sahoo said.

The PHEO’s assistant engineer of the area Girish Chandra Bal said: “On completion of the road job by the department, we found a pipeline problem. We, therefore, had to fix it. But according to the government specifications, only the PWD is entrusted to carry out repair of major roads.”

Once the pipeline job was done, the PHEO engineers had kept it in observation for a week. After the observation period, it has to inform the PWD about the repair work.

Bal, however, said that even though the PHEO authorities had informed the PWD assistant engineer to submit the estimation, he was yet to produce it. On the other hand, assistant engineer of the PWD Sisir Mishra said: “The PHEO had violated the basics of engineering practices as it started repairing the pipeline without taking due permission from us. When local people informed us, we came to know that work has started there by the organisation. Following intervention by the police, we permitted them to carry out the work quickly.”

Mishra, however, said the PHEO authorities were yet to provide money to the department to carry out the road job.

Commuter Manas Sahoo said: “The fight between the two major departments for city’s development has resulted in a bad situation near the Palaspalli flyover. The work should be done immediately to help the general public.”