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Road turns stench stretch

The garbage-strewn road behind Sainik School. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 27: Lack of co-ordination among various government agencies has turned a newly developed road behind Sainik School into a garbage dump.

The garbage thrown carelessly on the roadside spills on to the road, making it difficult for commuters and pedestrians to pass through the stretch.

The road, which connects Veer Surendra Sai Nagar with the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited guesthouse, was widened last year to help commuters move freely between VSS Nagar and Chandrasekharpur areas. Though a small portion of the road is still under construction, the major part was finished several months ago.

While people tend to avoid this road because of the garbage dumped on its sides that creates an unhygienic atmosphere, the authorities did not seem bothered about the problem.

While a public works department (PWD) official said it was the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s duty to ensure that garbage was not dumped on roads, a senior civic official said that the area was allotted to them and they would keep dumping garbage there.

“Earlier, we used to go to Chandrasekharpur through the road along the boundary wall of railway factory. This road was in poor condition. Once this road was widened, we were happy that we would have to cover less distance. But now, the scenario is no different as we have to go through stink and piles of garbage near the road,” said Gitimughda Sahani, a resident of VSS Nagar.

A PWD official said the road was part of a one-kilometre stretch that began from the area behind VSS Nagar and went on to connect the Mahanadi Coalfields guesthouse near Government Colony. On it way, it runs through the transit-dumping yard near Sainik School. Once complete, the one-kilometre road would connect Railway Colony, Sainik School and the Government Colony.

The PWD official said that the 25-feet-wide road was converted to a 50-feet four-lane structure last year. The master plan of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority suggests that this road would be converted to a 100-feet six-lane stretch in the near future.

Those who use the road said they had to cover their nose while passing through the area. Most of the time, garbage-laden trucks and tractors ply through the road, creating an unpleasant scene.

“The authorities should think of shifting the dumping yard elsewhere,” said Ansuman Rath, a resident of Mancheswar Industrial Area, who takes this road to go to Chandrasekharpur.

B.C. Pradhan, chief engineer of PWD (roads), said there was no need of holding talks with corporation officials on the issue of garbage dumping. “The road was constructed according to plans. The civic body should decide whether they should continue dumping garbage there or not. We have no role in that,” said Pradhan.

However, the municipal corporation has been dumping garbage at this transit-dumping yard for the last five years.

A corporation official said they had not been consulted prior to building the road.

“The state government gave us this place to dump garbage. We will continue doing it. There is no plan to shift the dump yard unless we are given another spot,” said Chandrika Prasad Das, city health officer of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, who looks after garbage disposal.