Road Widening Projects Fail to Serve Purpose in Sambalpur

Road widening projects in the Sambalpur town do not serve the purpose as the officials of Roads and Building (R&B) Department do not clear the road of obstacles before taking up the projects. Water kiosks of Sambalpur Municipality that never ooze water and the electric poles that have gone too weak and may collapse any time are some of the obstacles or unwanted structure that lead to traffic congestion.

Even though a number of projects have been taken up in the town, all focus only on increasing the width of the roads. The main road from Ainthapali to Fatak is almost complete with construction of drain and soldering work at an estimated cost of Rs.1 crore. Besides, Rs.15 lakh was allocated for another stretch of about 100 meters at Budharaja area in the town.

However, both these projects do not include removal of the  obstacles therefore even after completion, the increased width of the roads are used as parking spaces and not relaxing the traffic congestion. Besides rendering the widened roads unused these obstacle even lead to clogging of the drains as they are not constructed as per any plans. Earlier, locals had drawn the attention of the district administration towards the problem but to no avail.

Drain construction without eviction made it serpentine preventing free flow of water. Admitting that the obstacles make road widening meaningless, Assistant Executive Engineer of R&B, Sambalpur PK Nath said they cannot demolish water kiosk as it was property of the Municipality.

Regarding shifting of electricity poles he said it entails huge expenditure as WESCO charges about ` 70,000 per pole, he added. Nath further informed that although they have written to WESCO to submit an estimate for relocating poles to the fringes of the road, no response has been received yet.

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