With the South Eastern Railway (SER) sitting over the proposal to shift the goods shed from the heart of Rourkela to Bondamunda on the outskirts of the city, private vehicle users have to face traffic woes everyday.
The goods shed at Malgodam is in operation for around five decades with facilities for loading and unloading the materials in bulk for railway transportation. As township has developed around the shed over the years, heavy vehicles have to go through narrow passage. It has led to traffic congestion and accidents. Around three years ago, residents of Basanti Colony had resorted to road blockade bringing movement of trucks to a grinding halt. In order to bring down the traffic to the shed, the city administration had diverted the heavy vehicles through the main road via Uditnagar.
The administration also restricted the movement of heavy vehicles by allowing them to ply after 10 pm. But it has failed to solve the problem now.
The narrow approach road to the shed allows only one-way passage to trucks. The situation worsens during night as incoming trucks get stranded on the main road for frequent closure of the Malgodam level-crossing.
Due to stranded trucks on one side of the level crossing and private vehicles on the other, no passage is left for two-wheelers.
BJD’s railway coordination committee convener Sailendra Marothia said two years ago, the then SER general manager Vinay Mittal had said that the proposal to shift the goods shed was approved. But the proposal has been put on back burner since then.
An employee of SER said despite the drop in traffic due to industrial recession, 150-200 trucks come to the goods shed daily. Reliable sources claimed that some private users of the shed are delaying its shifting due to the advantage of sprawling secured storage space.
SER sources said the Railway authorities are replacing goods sheds with freight terminals having no storage areas. It is also proposed to convert the goods shed into washing line.
While Additional Divisional Engineer of SER UK Shaw said he was not aware of the proposal, Chakradharpur-based SER spokesperson AK Haldar was not available for comment. Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia said the administration would re-examine the proposal before taking a decision.