Piecemeal development of the four-laning work of National Highway 6 at Sambalpur-Bargarh-Luharachatti stretch along Odisha-Chhattisgarh border has turned the road into a death trap. Though service roads have been provided alongside the highway, the delay in completion of the construction work and illegal parking of vehicles on the lanes has put lives of many at risk.
Sources said as per agreement, a private construction firm is in-charge of laying service road on either side of the four lanes from Ainthapali Chowk to Remed Chowk in Sambalpur town. While the four-laning work has been completed, the construction work of the service roads has been left midway making it unusable.
What has compounded the problem is the use of the half-laid service roads to park trucks and heavy vehicles. Further, garages and automobile workshops alongside the highway use the under construction roads to repair vehicles plying on the Highway.
Garages and automobile workshops have mushroomed at Baraipali along the Highway which passes through Sambalpur town. As the highway is full of diversions, commuters prefer to take the service roads to reach their destination quickly. However, with trucks and other heavy vehicles parked on the service roads, it is a difficult task for the commuters to wade through the congested roads. With more and more vehicles using the under construction lanes by making way through the stationary trucks, the service roads have become dangerous.
As the situation stands today, unruly parking of heavy vehicles, private buses, auto-rickshaws besides encroachment by roadside vendors have made the service roads invisible to the commuters plying on the highway. Adding to the woes of commuters is the absence of lighting system alongside the highway. Though street lights have been installed on both sides, they are yet to be made operational which leads to accidents on the service roads during night.
Superintendent of Police Prateek Mohanty admitted to the problem and said the Private Bus Owners’ and Truck Owners’ Associations should ensure that heavy vehicles are not parked on the service roads and enough passage is left for commuters. Steps will be taken to free the service roads from parking, he added.