JEYPORE: Replete with potholes, the Visakhapatnam-Raipur NH-26 stretch passing through Koraput district is a commuter’s nightmare. Base of the 23-km road stretch from Jeypore to Borrigumma has eroded owing to movement of large number of heavy vehicles.
The NH stretch was constructed 30 years back and renovated at regular intervals with just filling up of the potholes. Five years back, the top layer of the entire road was re-laid by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), considering the increasing pressure of heavy vehicles on it. Traffic on the Koraput stretch of the NH-26 has doubled in the last five years.
The NH was designed for handling traffic of 1,500 to 2,000 vehicles per day and has the capacity to bear a burden of 30 to 40 tonnes daily. But a drastic increase in the number of heavy vehicles from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and within Odisha has put more pressure on the NH. As many as 5,000 goods carrying heavy vehicles use the road daily and the load exceeds 50 tonnes. During rains, potholes develop on the road causing hindrance in the movement of both heavy vehicles and two-wheelers.
A year back, the NHAI engineers noticed that base of the road was weak and had eroded. They apprised the NHAI authorities in Bhubaneswar about the need for reconstruction of the Jeypore-Borrigumma stretch and the latter had agreed. But, work on the NH stretch is yet to start. After incessant rains and flash flood in the district, the road remained submerged for some days and was damaged again.
Locals said the NH stretch has turned into a death trap and at least four to five accidents occur every day. Members of district transporters union, chamber of commerce and citizens forum have also take up the issue with Jeypore NHAI.
Sources in NHAI said work on the NH stretch will begin after monsoon and an amount of `80 crore would be required for the purpose.
- NH-26 has developed potholes near Jeypore new bus stand, Old RMC gate, Paper Mill junction, Randapali, Ambaguda, Jayantigiri
- At least 5 accidents occur every day
- NHAI tried to fill up some potholes but the road was again damaged after rains