Bhubaneswar: There seems to be no end to controversies surrounding Bomikhal flyover so far as the earlier complaints about the single-lane bridge and the latest problem of water-logging are concerned.
It was found recently that rainwater continues to accumulate at the intersection on the top of the bridge, making it difficult for the commuters to travel on the flyover.
Likewise, a moderate rain results in severe water-logging and traffic congestion on Cuttack Road, especially the stretch between Bomikhal and Rasulgarh and vice versa.
As this reporter was also stuck in one such traffic jam on a rainy day, it took around half an hour to cover the distance from Bomikhal to Rasulgarh. On a normal day the distance takes only around 10 minutes to cover.
It is said that water-logging is happening due to two reasons. Curiously, unlike other flyovers the open pipes of Bomikhal flyover drain water from the top of the bridge on to the roads below. The pipes don’t lead to a drain or sump. Experts think this is not a good idea. The design of the bridge has come under fire along with its faulty drainage system.
But the executive engineer (Roads and Bridges) of Works department, S Nasrula, doesn’t agree that the design of the flyover is at fault.
“The water-logging on the bridge is due to litter-choked pipes, but they are regularly cleaned,” said Nasrula.
Durga Prasad, who stays in one of the apartments near the bridge, says that moving on Cuttack Road gets very difficult during rainy days. “The drains on either side of the road don’t collect rainwater. It takes a long time for the water to recede,” says Prasad.
People who travel on the route regularly blame the authorities for not properly cleaning the clogged drains on both sides of the road.
“They do clear the drains, but put the silt right beside it. The silt also flows back into the drains. The mounds of garbage near drains also make it difficult for the water on the roads to flow in,” said Sakim Mohammad, a local.
One of the department’s senior officials said they have asked the authorities concerned to clean the drains on Cuttack Road and remove the encroachments on drains.
According to reports, the bridge took almost six years to complete and `20 crore was spent on it. But urban planners say that more remains to be done.
“The authorities assumed that water flushed to roads will make way to the drains, but that’s not happening. The bridge has not been built keeping the topography in mind. It’s difficult, but they have to correct the design. If they’ve put pipes, they should rework it to create a proper channel to the drains. If they can’t, they should make provisions for rainwater harvesting, which will enable the water to go to the drains,” said Piyush Ranjan Rout, an urban planner.