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TALE OF TWO CITIES AND THEIR BRIDGES THAT CHOKE TRAFFIC

- Lack of foresight to blame for road woes

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 14: Commuters are facing a lot of inconvenience at the Kalpana Square end of Rajmahal flyover because of the ongoing construction. A section of residents blame the lack of foresight on part of the public works department for this.

The department had started digging up one end of the newly constructed flyover situated in the centre of the city for putting up signboards showing directions to various places. It has dug three holes on the flyover and the debris has been dumped on the road leaving little space for vehicles to pass through.

“They have dug up the road without giving us prior information or making arrangements to ensure that people don’t suffer. It is getting difficult to negotiate this stretch of the road,” said Uttam Kumar Mallick, a Badagada resident.

Commuters said it becomes really difficult to pass through the stretch during peak hours because of the debris on the road. Also, two roads — one from the Bapuji Nagar side and another from Ashok Nagar — merge at this point. This makes the area even more crowded.

The flyover has a median and so cars cannot cross over to the lane on the other side at that point. But pedestrians often cross the road by jumping over the high median dangerously. This also inconveniences motorists.

“I have seen a lot of people crossing the road dangerously at this point. The government should do something about it,” said Diptesh Martha, a private company employee.

Commuters said the direction signs should have been put up at the construction stage. They also said that gaps had been left on the pavement under the overbridge and this creates a problem for those who are walking.

Prasant Kumar Patro, executive engineer of the public work department’s division II, said that the department had thought of putting up direction signs because the people were facing problems.

“We got to know that people were confused about where to go at this foot overbridge while coming from the Kalpana Square side. So, we decided to erect signboard gates here with directions to various places,” said Patro.

Officials said that many people who should be taking the overbridge were using the service road. The direction signboards would benefit these people.

Digging on the flyover has shrunk the space for traffic. Consequently, traffic bottlenecks are a regular affair on this stretch. Picture by Badrika Nath Das

The Rajmahal Square flyover started operating in October 2012. The 562-metre flyover connecting AG Square with Kalpana Square was built to help reduce traffic congestion at Rajmahal Square. The government had spent around Rs 41 crore to build this flyover.