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City roads turn death-trap due to digging, cutting 


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Teamwork and transparency fall flat in Works Dept

BHUBANESWAR: The frequent cutting and digging in some major roads in capital city Bhubaneswar by agencies like the WATCO, GAIL and OPTCL have turned them dangerous for commuters and reduced the driving comfort.

Though in the Chief Secretary’s single window system meetings for Urban Development plan, stress is laid on coordination between different Government agencies, the lack of synergy between them has made mockery of  ‘Teamwork and Transparency,’ which are the two main pillars of the 5T initiatives of the State Government.

Whether it is an Odisha Works Department (OWD), Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) or Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) road it is a roller-coaster ride for the commuters. With monsoons in full swing their condition has worsened further, disrupting the smooth flow of traffic, damaging the vehicles and proving a grave threat to the life and limbs of the denizens.

A few examples of the bad roads are the stretch from Ravi Talkies Square to Sai Mandir under Division-I of the OWD, the Badeibanka to Mausami Chhack(Rath Road) under Division-II, the stretch from Khandagiri Square to Jagamara under Division-III, the road from Ghatikia towards Kalinga Nagar up to DN Regalia under Division-V and the Bayababa Chhack to Maharishi College connecting road in Saheed Nagar under Division-IV.

The WATCO and OPTCL had taken approval from the OWD to return the roads in the same condition after digging for laying of sewerage lines and cables, respectively. But the agreement conditions are being blatantly violated and they are not fixing the road after their work is done. Neither the roads that are dug up for work are not filled scientifically.

It might be mentioned here that the longevity of a road is three to five years but due to the frequent digging by the aforesaid agencies, the roads which are constructed with crores of rupees, are in a deplorable condition in the whole city.

The incumbent Works Secretary, who has an engineering background has not been able to improve the road conditions in the State capital, though he is commuting on these roads daily.

To make matters worse, the efficiency of OWD Central Circle Chief Construction Engineer(CCE) is under the scanner for lack of effective field supervision and inferior quality construction.

In some of the divisions like Divisions-I, IV and V there is staff shortage and Executive Engineers of Division I and V are alleged to be inefficient. But with the help of strong lobby’s managed to cling to their chairs.

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