With general elections drawing nearer and urban body polls not too far, suddenly all the long pending projects have been taken up on a war footing. Major roadwork, overbridges, lying halfdone causing much inconvenience to the people would soon be completed. And the BJD is trying to ensure that the projects are through and thus these can be converted into electoral support.
The Rourkela municipality election is due in September. Sources said the Railway overbridge at Basanti Colony is set to be over by March with an additional cost overrun of `.9.23 cr. Works on it were kicked off in middle of 2008 by the PWD with an estimate cost of Rs 15 cr. The four-lane project of PWD from Panposh to Uditnagar shares no different fate and will complete in December at an escalated cost of Rs.17 cr. The old narrow road in front of the Panposh Sports Hostel (PSH) was dug up in 2009 and now is given a final push by the PWD.
City resident SK Sarangi said all through the years commuters endured harrowing experience with dusty and bumpy rides. PWD’s four-lane works at Koelnagar at a cost of Rs 2.6 cr would be over by March-end, while similar work at Chhend Colony with a cost of Rs 3.5 cr is to end early next year. The four-lane road from Hockey Square to Hanuman Vatika took years and consumed more than Rs 13 cr. Now it is getting equipped with street lighting.
Almost all roads at the thickly populated Rourkela city limits are now taken up for widening and strengthening. As if road projects were not enough, inauguration of shopping complex at Uditnagar to rehabilitate evicted roadside vendors has been well timed. After pumping around Rs 2 cr, the Birsa Munda stadium was left mid-way. PWD executive engineer UC Mishra denied the charges and attributed the delays to piecemeal funding and encroachment issues.
As of now the Rourkela municipality is stuck with road projects worth around Rs 4 cr. It has recently received Rs 7 cr from the government for road works.
Municipality vice-chairman RN Mishra said there is no politics involved, adding there has been widespread requirements for roads.