Sambalpur’s ring road still remains a pipedream

It has been over one and half decade that the Ring Road in Sambalpur has been lying incomplete. In the wake of frequent floods, when idea of the Ring Road along river Mahanadi flowing by Sambalpur town was conceived by the then Irrigation Minister Basanta Biswal, it was welcomed by all. Besides protecting the town from the river during monsoon, it was expected that the road would serve as a bypass from the NH to the town.

But more than one and a half decade later, the 12-km proposed road has been curtailed to six kms and its completion remains a distant dream.

Foundation stone for the road was laid on October 30, 1995 and it was to be constructed from Laxmi Dungri hill on NH-6 and culminate at Dhankauda connecting the same NH. The road was planned along river Mahanadi to act as an embankment and the administration had decided that heavy vehicles plying through the town would be diverted to this road.

Ring Road was estimated to cost `37.64 crore, but following a suggestion from the technical advisory committee, some changes were made in the original project and the cost was revised at `43.7 crore. The renewed proposal was approved by the State Government, but  funds crunch saw the project being terminated after six kms.

Today, the road runs from Laxmi Dungri to Nelson Mandela Chhack. Revenue Minister Surya Narayan Patra, during his recent visit to Sambalpur, had said that chances of completion of the project is remote as it envisages acquisition of about 60 acres of rayati land involving more than `100 crore towards payment of compensation. However, he said an allocation of `3.83 crore has been made for strengthening the existing six-km stretch of the road besides development of additional two-km road from Gobindtola to Putibandh which was supposed to be part of the 12-km road.

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