CUTTACK: Even as the Millennium City has started preparation for a grand celebration, the organisers’ spirit seems to have been dampened by poor condition of roads.The puja committees, which come up with lavish tableaus and colourfully decorated pandals, feel that all their hard work may go to waste as visitors, who throng in large number, would keep away due to the dilapidated roads. While almost all roads are riddled with potholes, some have their bitumen layer skinned off due to rains.
The roads stretching from Link Road to Badambadi, Badambadi to Khannagar, Barapathar to Meria Bazar, College Square to Station Bazar, Buxi Bazar to Bepari Sahi and those passing through Nima Sahi, Jhola Sahi, Ganga Mandir and Kazi Bazar are some glaring examples. While majority of the roads are maintained by Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC), the rest are maintained either by Roads & Building department or by the Water Resources department.
Besides, some major roads and streets have been badly damaged due to the ongoing Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded Integrated Sanitation Improvement Project which is being carried out by Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board (OWSSB).
With about 160 pandals coming up for Durga Puja, the locals have demanded immediate repair of the roads. “While most puja pandals are located near the main roads of the city, pandal hoppers will have tough time navigating through the potholed roads. If immediate repair work is not undertaken, visitors may plummet by a huge margin,” said secretary of Cuttack Mahanagar Puja Committee Bhikari Das.Cuttack Collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani said all roads and streets in and around the city will be made motorable by the end of September.
“Officials have been directed to ensure repair of roads and defunct streetlights, clearing of obstructed roads and addressing other civic issues by September 30,” said Chayani adding that repair work will be pursued with a sense of urgency after September 15.