BARIPADA: Traffic on the Baripada-Udala State Highway-9 was disrupted for over four hours, from 8 am to 12 noon, on Monday as residents of several villages in Shyamakhunta block staged a road blockade demanding repair of a five-km PMGSY road from Nurdihi to Pindura.
The villagers said in the absence of repair and maintenance of the road by the Rural Development department, it has become a nightmare for motorists. The road was constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in 2019 at a cost of Rs 1.47 crore. The villagers alleged a contractor, Subashchandra Mandal, was given the task of maintaining the road for five years by the Rural Development department.
But owing to low-quality work and lack of repair, the road is now replete with potholes.
“We had highlighted the condition of the road on social media after repairing some patches by ourselves but no action was taken,” the villagers said alleging, “the contractor is being paid by the department but the road continues to remain ill-maintained posing problems for people of four villages, including students who use the road on a day to day basis.” Ambulances too fail to reach the villages during emergencies due to the condition of the road, they added.
The agitation was however called off after a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Baripada KK Hariprasad along with Shyamakhunta tehsildar Radharanjan Das and an officer of the Rural Development department reached the spot and assured repair of the road soon.