| The road from Sishu Bhavan Square to Raj Mahal Square in Bhubaneswar. Pictures by Ashwinee Pati
Bhubaneswar, April 2: A newly constructed road between Raj Mahal Square and Sishu Bhavan Square is lying unutilised because a traffic post and a high-mast light are yet to be shifted.
The road’s construction was over a year ago.
Though the four-lane road has been made into an eight-lane one from Vani Vihar to Sishu Bhavan Square, commuters cannot use the stretch between Raj Mahal and Sishu Bhavan. T
hey are forced to use only one portion of the road, causing traffic chaos.
Police’s traffic wing had written several letters to the public works department and the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation to shift the high-mast light and the traffic post at Sishu Bhavan Square. But, no initiative has been initiated. The stretch has been closed to traffic. While the traffic post is to be shifted by the works department, it is the civic body’s responsibility to shift the high-mast light.
“We have been writing letters to both the works department and the corporation, but all in vain,” said a senior police officer. As the commuters cannot use the road, illegal encroachers have erected small cabins on the stretch.
The construction of the 1-km road started three years ago and was over last year. A works department official said construction of median on the stretch had also been over. The construction, too, got delayed due to problems related to shifting of a vending zone.
“The road expansion was supposed to ease out the traffic in the area during peak hours. But, it has been lying unused and the vehicles are now plying on the single road creating traffic congestion and raising chances of mishaps,” said local resident Prabhat Behera.
The stretch is an important area as there are several high-end shops selling consumer durable. Besides, it is also used by people heading towards the airport.
“It does not make any sense to spend crores of public money for construction of a road and not use it. The vehicular movement is increasing day by day and the authorities should make it functional at the earliest,” said city resident Antaryami Sahu.
On the other hand, a works department official said they had taken up the matter with the police and the corporation to shift the high-mast light and the traffic post.
“Once the light post is shifted, a traffic circle would be made and the road would be opened to public,” he said.