Rs 250 crore plan to ease road woes
|A road dug up in Bhubaneswar for laying sewage lines. Picture by Ashwinee Pati|
Bhubaneswar, Feb. 19: Dug up roads across the capital to lay sewer pipelines has made life miserable for commuters.
Finally, the state government has woken up to the plight of the commuters created by the mess. It has asked the housing and urban development department to organise funds to repair these roads. The work is estimated to cost around Rs 250 crore.
Initially, while preparing the detailed project report for laying sewer lines, the Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board (OWSSB) had estimated the cost of repair of the damaged roads at Rs 35.39 crore. However, the cost was later revised to whooping Rs 250 crore, as it involved repairing the entire network of roads. The previous estimate had only envisaged repair of small roads damaged because of the sewerage work. Later, it was decided that partial repairs would not help, as they would make the roads uneven and risky for motorists.
Chairing a meeting on the issue a few days ago, chief secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik asked authorities concerned and other stakeholders to speed up the process so that the city could actually use the sewage system by December 2013. Sources in the housing and urban development department said: “The chief secretary said that if the roads were repaired only in the sections where the sewage lines were laid underneath, then these would make commuting even more difficult. So, the housing and urban development department will oversee the arrangement of Rs 250 crore to make the roads smoother and retain their earlier look.”
While OWSSB experts will supervise the work of the contractors, refilling of the trenches with soil after laying the pipeline will be thoroughly supervised by the experts of public works department.
OWSSB project engineer B.K. Parida said: “Apart from land acquisition problems for the sewage treatment plants, there are various issues, such as delay in getting road cutting permissions, crossing of railway lines and national highways, non-availability of space for laying sewer line from Capital Hospital Square to Sishu Bhavan Square, clearance for conservancy lanes at Palaspalli, encountering rock strata and high water table, narrow lanes, shifting of utility services such as electric poles, transformers and trees and restrictions on movement of machineries during day time. These are causing the delay.”
The OWSSB authorities are facing a major problem on the Ravi Talkies Square and at the stretch of Megheswar temple as shifting of 77 electric poles, four transformers and felling of 12 trees are delaying the work at these places. A similar delay in shifting has also been noticed near Palasuni on the right side embankment of the Daya West Canal and between Garage Chhak and Samantapur.