Series of Stir over Poor Roads Threatened
After a lull of nearly one year, the residents of Balasore have once again decided to lunch a series of road blockades in protest against apathetic attitude of the administration and the DRDO authorities to repair the potholed roads in the town.
The citizens under the banner of Proof Road Surakhya Mancha (PRSM) have placed an ultimatum before the district administration to take immediate steps for construction of the roads by December 23.
The Mancha members claimed that due to lack of regular repair during the last 15 years, the road from Balasore station square to Patrapada has posed risk to life of pedestrians, cyclists, bikers and vehicle owners.
Hundreds of vehicles of the DRDO, schools, colleges, engineering colleges, hospitals, banks as well as government offices ply on this road, considered as lifeline of the town, daily. More than 5,000 school and college going students also use the road. The hazardous condition of the road has not only led to frequent accidents, but also caused dust pollution due to plying of huge number of vehicles posing health hazards to many.
The 5-km road which is supposed to be maintained by the defence unit and the 3-km patch from ITI Square to Hemkapada by the PWD are in such a horrible condition that motorists have to use all their skills to cross even 100 metres. Though the foundation stone for the construction of ITI Square-Hemkapada road at a cost of ` 4.24 crore has been laid, no step has been taken for repair of the other road till date.
The Mancha’s core committee member Santanu Das claimed that though the defence authorities during a meeting with the Collector in September last year had assured to construct a new road after October 2012, no step has been taken yet. “They have been cheating us since long. We would not tolerate the negligence anymore,” he warned.
Official sources said the coastal town has 487 km road, of which 306 km are black topped, 88 km concrete, 66 km metalled, 16 km unmetalled and 8 km earthen. Most of these roads are in dilapidated condition.
Mancha convenor Abhay Das said the roads will be blocked after December 25 at several places till the demands are fulfilled. “Besides the poor condition, the roads are encroached at many places and there is virtually no drainage system which leads to flooding of the road during rain,” he added.