No End to Bumpy Ride on Sambalpur Main Road

The fate of busy Fatak-Ainthapali Main Road in the city remains unchanged. The failure of the Public Works Department (PWD) in maintaining the road has caused several problems for commuters who endure a torment-filled drive on a daily basis.

Though dust generated from stone crusher units is used to fill the holes on the road, it has added to commuters’ woes as a layer of thick dust hangs in the area due to constant movement of the vehicles. People residing along the road also face problem as the dust enters their houses. The road is considered as the gateway to the city and connects with the National Highway 6 and State Highway 10. As per the master plan, the road should be 90 feet in width. But the road was laid haphazardly without demarcating the land and evicting the encroachers thereby reducing the width.

The work on the 2.6-km road was started in 2003 and till date, about ` six crore has been spent on construction of the road and drains. Work on drains along the road is yet to be completed even after 12 years. The road along with the flyover from Church Chowk to the connecting road was blacktopped in May, 2013 at an estimated cost of ` 61 lakh. The black top was washed away during monsoon last year making it uneven and bouncy.

Though public outcry led the contractor to undertake some repair work last year, the situation has come back to square one during monsoon this year. Now the PWD has taken up the repair of the road by filling the potholes with stone dust and emulsion.

When contacted, Assistant Executive Engineer, PWD, Sambalpur, PK Nath said the repair work is being undertaken at an estimated cost of ` one lakh to provide temporary relief to the commuters. The road from Laxmi Talkies Chowk to Ainthapali Chowk including the flyover will be relaid after monsoon at an estimated cost of `1.3 crore, he added.

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