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Two-way traffic leads to chaos

Vehicles move in a disorganised manner on the service road in front of Utkal University. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar, May 30: Two-way traffic in front of Vani Vihar Square on the NH-5 has compounded commuters’ woes.

The underpass of the newly built flyover, which has not been opened yet, has led to the problem as vehicles coming from the Cuttack side resort to taking the wrong lane to reach Utkal University.

If the vehicles use the other side of the highway, they would have to go till Rasulgarh Square to take a U-turn and again drive towards the varsity.

Though the flyover has eased the traffic on that stretch, the underpass at Vani Vihar Square not yet open to traffic has compounded the commuters’ woes. It is due to the closed underpass that people going to Utkal University face problems in crossing the road.

Only one traffic policeman has been deployed to regulate vehicular movement at the square. However, vehicles from various sides are rushing towards the area making it dangerous for pedestrians to cross the intersection.

Vehicles going towards Acharya Vihar Square, too, have to take the one-way to travel around 100 metres to cross the road. At times, such traffic chaos here is leading to minor mishaps.

“Two days ago, I was going to university on my motorbike, and just in front of the varsity gate, a car coming from Acharya Vihar Square hit me when I was crossing the road. Luckily, it was a small accident without any injury,” said Jagdish Das, a student who resides on the campus. He suggested that the authorities should make arrangement for passages under the flyover.

Moreover, to add to the commuters’ woes, the authorities have erected a barricade parallel to the flyover from Satsang Vihar Square to Vani Vihar in front of the University Law Oollege.

“Earlier, we used to cross the road at Satsang Vihar Square. But now, we are forced to take the route till Vani Vihar Square to cross over, as the intersection at Satsang Vihar Square has been closed following opening of the flyover. Many vehicles resort to use the wrong lane from Satsang Vihar Square to Vani Vihar Square to cross over, creating chance for accidents,” said law college student Tarini Prasad Sahu.

Though the flyover was opened a month ago, the authorities erected this barricade recently without informing the public about its utility. A traffic policeman posted at this square said the barricade along the road had been erected to make safe way for vehicles coming from the Satsang Vihar side.

Though the authorities have instructed the vehicles coming from VSS Nagar and Satsang Vihar area to cross the highway at Rasulgarh Square, people do not prefer to take the long distance and follow the wrong route.

“Why should we go so far to Rasulgarh Square to cross the road? The authorities should not have closed the Satsang Vihar Square, or else they should have constructed adequate passage for vehicles,” said VSS Nagar resident Prabira Pradhan.

A senior traffic official said the underpass for pedestrians in front of the university and the law college would be opened by the end of June. “This will allow pedestrians to cross the road smoothly,” said assistant commissioner of police (traffic) Binod Das.

Beside, a passage for vehicles is constructed at Vani Vihar railway overbridge to allow people coming from Satsang Vihar and VSS Nagar to cross the road easily without going to Rasulgarh, he added

A National Highways Authority of India official said the barricade in front of the law college was temporary and it would be removed once the passages became operational.

“The highways authority had said they would finish the work for passages by the next month. After that, the things here will be smooth, and accordingly, we will put our men to manage the traffic,” said Das.