Potholed roads, BMC apathy may mar pujas this year
With less than a month left for the puja, pandal works have started at Rasulgarh, Bomikhal, Jharpada, Nayapalli, Station Bazaar and several other localities of the city.
BHUBANESWAR: Patchy and pothole-ridden roads are all set to blight the Durga Puja celebrations this year. While puja committees are busy erecting pandals for Dussehra at a grand scale, roads dug up by utility agencies for multiple services including underground cabling and sewerage line months back are yet to be repaired.
Moreover, agencies in many areas are continuing the road digging work, flouting civic norms that prevent the taking up of such projects during monsoon. Though such works are being carried out in several localities even during the day, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) remains a mute spectator.
With less than a month left for the puja, pandal works have started at Rasulgarh, Bomikhal, Jharpada, Nayapalli, Station Bazaar and several other localities of the city. However, the roads that lie damaged owing to poor maintenance and large-scale digging work by utility agencies are yet to be restored.
Sources said with hundreds of kilometres of roads dug up for laying of underground cables, sewerage lines, water pipe connections and other such services, the repairs if not taken up on a war footing would lead to chaos during the festive season. This apart from a large stretch of roads, including in parts of Mancheswar, Old Town, Jayadev Vihar and Nayapalli area are replete with potholes causing much inconvenience to motorists. The condition of roads in some localities is such that it may lead to mishaps.
“Everyone knows the kind of traffic jams the city witnesses during the festive season, especially Saptami onwards. If the damaged roads and potholes are not repaired, it would lead to chaos”, apprehends Jagdish Sahoo of Nayapalli area.
Arun Jena, a member of Jharpada Durga Puja Samiti, said the entire road at the locality has been dug for months by utility agencies. “We have already raised this issue with officials concerned as around 70,000 to 80,000 people visit our pandal every day during Durga Puja. A portion of road repair was started on Saturday. We hope it will be completed within the next two weeks.” Jena said.
Municipal commissioner Vijay Amruta Kulange said two rounds of meetings with stakeholders have already been convened for Durga Puja and the agencies concerned have been asked to complete road repair and restoration across the city by mid-October. “The repair work had not been carried out in view of monsoon,” he said.
Besides, he said a work order for road digging and cutting during monsoon is issued only where it is necessary. Sources said the Commissionerate Police will also convene a coordination meeting with the stakeholders including puja committees, utility service providers and public works officials where the issue will be taken up.