ROURKELA: Amid the rush of Durga Puja, traffic management has become a challenging task for police throughout Rourkela city. Commuters on Rourkela Main Road stretch are the worst affected, partly due to lack of feasible traffic control measures and partly for ongoing road widening and parallel drain construction works.
However, in a relief, majority of the Durga Puja pandals are located at the Rourkela Industrial Township (RIT) area of the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) having the wide Ring Road and lots of vacant spaces for temporary vehicle parking. The traffic management is focused on the RIT limits with police barricading and restricting erratic parking on the Ring Road.
With more than 10 lakh revellers and above two lakh vehicles likely to appear on the roads in course of the festival, special arrangements have been made for free flow of traffic during ‘Ravan Podi’ (burning of the effigy of demon king Ravan) on October 11 at the sprawling Sector-13 ground. Similar arrangements would continue the following day during the idol immersion procession.
Moreover, the usual route for buses through the Ring Road covering various sector areas of RIT have been restricted to the new route covering Sector-2 bus stand to Hockey Square via Bisra Square and Hanuman Vatika Square.
But, commuters on the highly congested Rourkela Main Road stretch from Bisra Square to Panposh Square, having huge concentration of wholesale and retail traders, are left to fend for themselves. Suraj Sahu, a shop-keeper, claimed that the vehicles continue to break one-way traffic norms from Uditnagar which leads to inevitably traffic jam. Similarly a commuter, Rajesh Chaturvedi said parking is a major problem as four-wheelers occupy major portion of the carriageway while at many places, vehicles are erratically parked on both sides of the Main Road.
Another city resident, SS Sharma said ongoing road expansion project with heaps of construction materials dumped between Bisra Dahar and Daily Market areas and encroachment by roadside vendors make things worse.
While Rourkela Municipal Corporation Commissioner AK Mallick said necessary instructions have been issued, IG of Police (Western Range) RK Sharma informed that police are taking effective traffic and crowd control measures.