| Daya West Canal. Telegraph pictures
Bhubaneswar, May 22: The polluted Daya West Canal would soon be converted into a two-way road network with a water body at the centre at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore. The integrated Daya West Canal road project would entail a 7.8-km structure from Palasuni to Garage Chhak connecting NH-5 with NH-203.
The work began today with chief minister Naveen Patnaik laying foundation stone for the integrated project, which would have roads of 30-feet width on both sides of the canal. The 60-feet wide canal would be squeezed to half its width. The roads on both the sides of the water channel would also have barricade for safe plying of vehicles.
On October 6, 2010, The Telegraph had first reported the possibility of a project regarding revamp of the Daya West Canal.
Executive engineer of division IV (roads) of the public works department Chakradhar Prasad Gantayat said the project would be completed within two years. However, keeping in view the traffic problem on the Rasulgarh-Samantarapur stretch on NH-203, it has been decided to speed up work for the road project so that it could help in diverting traffic from NH-5 from Palasuni to Puri.
“The two roads along the Daya West Canal will help ease traffic congestion in the surrounding areas. All vehicles going to Puri from Cuttack will have to take the new route and reach the NH-203 near Garage Chhak. The water body in the middle will add to the aesthetic beauty. The project would ensure a delightful ride for the motorists along this stretch. The 7.8-km-long structure would include strengthening of the existing road crossings so that people residing on both sides of the Daya West Canal can easily cross the road. In case of necessity, new road crossings will also be added,’’ said Gantayat.
Councillor of ward No. 49 Amaresh Jena said this integrated road project would help people in ensuring a better environment as the defunct canal has already reduced to kind of a sewerage line with people and apartment complexes opening the pipes of their waste water into its bed.
“Apart from becoming a centre for mosquito breeding, the water body has also turned into a major polluter causing contamination in the areas where local residents still depend on groundwater. To facilitate better traffic flow on the road, there would be provisions like bus bay, autorickshaw stand and common parking lots. There is enough land on both the sides of the canal. In future, therefore, the roads on both sides can be expanded to a six-lane or eight-lane structure as per the demand of the growing traffic. At present, there are some encroachment related problems on the sides of the canal. We are planning to evict the slumdwellers with a proper resettlement plan. Talks are on with the authorities of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) in this regard,” Gantayat said.
In future, the road project with the water body can also become a spot to promote water sports or fun activities such as boating. “We have also included possible space to include such activities, in case the civic authorities or the tourism department wishes to take it up,” he added.
Former chief engineer cum secretary of works department Nandanandan Das said: “The project is planned to serve a dual process. But it all depends on the quality of the work and planning process as it has to serve multiple roles in the future. Strengthening of the bed of the existing canal, which has been neglected for long by the various authorities like the BMC and the water resources department, is to be looked into before delving into execution of the engineering work.”