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Deadline set for road repair

TROUBLE TRAVEL: Cars ply through a crater-dotted road at Saheed Nagar in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday issued a deadline for urgent repair of roads that are in bad shape in several parts of the state.

It has directed the concerned authorities to complete the repair works by March 5.

This decision was taken at a high-level meeting on road safety under the chairmanship of chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi at the secretariat. Transport commissioner Madhusudan Padhi said discussion was held to rectify the engineering defects on the national highways, state highways and major roads within a span of three months.

"Besides, the traffic volunteer scheme will be started in four cities of the state - Rourkela, Sambalpur, Balasore and Berhampur. Our objective is to involve students as the stakeholders in the awareness campaign," said the transport commissioner. The traffic volunteer scheme has already been in place in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.

According to records, fatality rate in road accidents increased by 5.7 per cent in the first nine months of 2017 compared to the previous corresponding period. At least 3,306 deaths were reported in the first nine months of 2016, whereas the casualty figure increased to 3,495 till September 2017. As many as 4,463 people had died in road mishaps across the state in 2016.

The government has also decided to start a programme for people residing on both sides of various under-construction projects, including the four-laning ones. "The government has planned to form a state management group consisting of heads of various departments, who will be entrusted with the job of creating awareness. "A special campaign will also be undertaken to create awareness among the drivers and helpers of trucks and buses," he said.

As many as 65 lakh motor vehicles are plying in the state, while around six lakh new motor vehicles are being added to the existing fleet every year. "By this rate, the total number of vehicles in the state will be around 90 lakh in next five years. Around 70 per cent of the registered vehicles are two-wheelers, which are vulnerable towards road mishaps," said a transport official.

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