BHUBANESWAR: The only subway in the city connecting the busy areas of Unit-I and Unit-II does not serve the purpose even as it was built to facilitate pedestrians in crossing roads safely.
Even during rush hours, pedestrians can be seen crossing over from one side to the other through the median on the road stretching from Raj Mahal to AG Square. And in the absence of a zebra crossing on the road stretch, the situation is even more chaotic.
The only users of the subway are the ones who come there for shopping defeating its very purpose. And even as the subway houses a market, basic amenities like urinal and drinking water facilities are non-existent. Little is being done to keep the subway clean. There are as many as 26 garment shops.
“At any given point of time, one can find people hopping the median on the road stretch. In the process they make themselves vulnerable to accidents. Only during the summer and monsoon, people can be seen entering the subway for shelter. Rest of the days, it is just the shoppers who can be found,” said Srikant Behera, a pedestrian.
The shopkeepers in the subway have their own set of woes. “After dusk, in case of a power cut, this place becomes pitch dark and affects business. There is no generator here. Cases of eve-teasing and snatching by local miscreants have also been recorded on many occasions but to no avail,” said Debendra Prasad Sahu, one of the shop owners. He further said shops in the subway were handed over to them five years back even as the construction works were underway. “This was supposed to an AC market. But today, water leaks from the holes that were created on the walls for facilitating AC wiring. Repeated pleas for undertaking repair work have yielded no response,” he said.
The shopkeepers said they submit Rs 1,000 a month to the GA Department for maintenance works.
Ranjit Sahu, executive engineer of the Roads and Buildings (division-II), under whose supervision the subway was built could not be contacted.