ROURKELA: Amid laxity in traffic management, rampant violation of norms and ongoing widening of City roads, commuters face intolerable traffic chaos even as Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) and local police are found wanting in containing the menace.
Sources said the RMC limits and Rourkela Industrial Township of RSP together have a population of around 5.25 lakh while around two lakh vehicles ply on the City roads. The traffic snarls assume menacing proportions during peak hours on Rourkela Main Road stretch from Bisra Square to Uditnagar and other 10 connecting roads due to lack of coordination between the RMC and traffic officials.
Rourkela Jagaran Manch (RJM) president Amitabh Samal said while the Main Road has been dug up on one side for construction of parallel drain, construction materials and mixing machines lying on road sides have reduced the carriage way considerably. Often drivers of four-wheelers and three-wheelers breaking the one way traffic norm make wrong entry leading to frequent jams near the construction areas, he added.
RJM general secretary Afroz Ahemad said there has been a spurt in growth of vehicles in the City. Above 60 per cent area of the road remains occupied with unauthorised parking while the average speed on the city road comes down between 10 and 15 km per hour during peak times, he added.
The city administration has no remedy available to address the parking problems as around 85 per cent of commercial building and market complexes do not have parking areas, while the parking lots of other market areas are inadequate to accommodate vehicles of their customers.
A parking lot near Traffic Gate finds no taker as four-wheeler owners refuse to walk. The RMC does not have its own towing-vehicle and occasionally, it hires vehicles to penalise violators.
Rourkela Additional District Magistrate K Sudershan Chakravorty said efforts are underway to complete the road widening work soon which would create extra carriageway and parking space. Instructions have been issued to enforce traffic rules strictly, he added. Traffic DSP Siba Singh said fines of `500 and `300 are being imposed on erring drivers for wrong entry of four-wheelers and three-wheelers respectively. Entry of vehicles from wrong side would be strictly restricted, he added.
Woes Mount in Rayagada
Rayagada: Traffic violations and accidents have become a regular affair in Rayagada town. Consider this: More than 60 persons have died in accidents on the road stretch between Rayagada and JK Pur in the last three years. While youths can be seen speeding away after ignoring signals at almost all the junctions, the traffic cops have been mute spectators to the menace. Locals alleged that police have so far not imposed any rules regarding maximum speed limits which is why, youth indulge in rash driving. Although it is also common to see school and college students driving without licence, they are never apprehended. The traffic signal system installed in Rayagada has been lying dysfunctional. Even if the town has parking areas, most of them have been encroached upon by vendors who pay `five as tax everyday to the municipal authorities for vending. Similar is the case with footpaths. District Congress Committee president Durga Prasad Panda alleged that there is no coordination between officials of the Municipality and Traffic cops to crack down on road encroachments.