| Stop boards on Ring Road near Matamatha area in Cuttack. Picture by Badrika Nath Das |
Cuttack, Feb. 24: Traffic cops here have installed temporary stop boards near Sreema Hospital to put a check on rash driving on the busy Ring Road, which acts as a lifeline for hundreds of commuters in the city.
The decision comes in the wake of frequent mishaps on this particular stretch of road connecting Jobra with Barabati Stadium. Local residents hoped that the move would help regulate the speed of vehicles on the road. On December 24 last year, a motorcyclist was killed here after he was hit by a speeding dumper coming from Jobra. The incident had sparked off tension as local residents staged a road blockade demanding measures to monitor and streamline traffic on Ring Road.
“The traffic cops have erected temporary stop board on both sides of Ring Road in front of Sreema Hospital following the agitation. The move is likely to put brakes on speed driving here,” said Kedar Swain, a commuter.
A lot of accidents frequently occur on the busy Ring Road, which surrounds the city along the rivers Mahanadi and Kathjodi. At least five persons died in different mishaps on the Ring Road last year.
Lack of measures on the part of traffic cops to check rash driving and speeding is the main reason for mishaps on the road. A number of cut-points, which are meant to facilitate people to cross the road, also contribute to some accidents here.
There are at least three cut-points on Ring Road that allows commuters to travel towards SCB Medical College and Hospital and Mangalabag from Jobra and Matamatha sides.
“The cut-points are necessary for easy access, but at the same time they are very risky for commuters especially for those coming from these connecting roads to Ring Road, as they hardly get chance to see vehicles coming from opposite end,” said Sridhar Rout, a local resident.
Rout added that the traffic officials should install cat’s eyes (reflector studs) at junctions to facilitate drivers to navigate.
Besides, local residents are also demanding installation of speed breakers, as a number of hospitals and diagnostic centres are located on this stretch of Ring Road near Malla Sahi.
Officials of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation and the traffic police should also ensure that the Ring Road and its surroundings remain encroachment free as most of the road dividers here are being used as parking space.
On the other hand, traffic officials said steps would be taken to streamline vehicular movement. Traffic officials also said they would launch a crackdown on rash driving at different parts of the city. “We have already asked the officials of the irrigation department to set up speed breakers at different locations on Ring Road,” said a senior traffic official.