ROURKELA: When Rourkela was declared a Smart City in 2016, its residents had hoped for better amenities including smooth roads.
However, over the years the condition of roads within Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) has only deteriorated.
As if this was not enough, an underground sewerage project has made it tougher for locals to commute with ease in the city.
The dilapidated 9 km stretch between Bisra Square and Panposh Square reflects RMC and Rourkela Smart City Limited (RSCL) officials’ failure to live up to people’s expectations.
Similar is the condition of a 3 km stretch between Bisra Square and Malgodam Road. The road has been dug up on several occasions in the last five years for various reasons including laying of water and sewerage pipelines.
The road between Bisra Square and Lal Building Chowk too remains in a deplorable state. A plan was chalked out to repair the stretch in the second phase of Smart Road project but it never happened.
Official sources said the second phase plan to repair a 4.5 km stretch from Ambedkar Square and Bisra Square was shelved and now RMC is mulling to lay blacktopping on the road.
The sole achievement of RSCL since 2016 is that it initiated a project to develop a stretch of 4.5 km between Ambedkar Square and Panposh Square as a Smart Road at a cost of Rs 22.62 crore.
However, even this project has witnessed little physical progress.
Sources said road restoration efforts after laying of underground sewerage lines in some areas of the city have not yielded the desired results.
RMC Commissioner and RSCL CEO Dibyajyoti Parida said efforts are on to improve the condition of the city.
He said black-topping work has been started at several locations and it will be intensified after completion of the underground sewerage project.