Sambalpur: Travelling on National Highway-55 connecting Sambalpur with Cuttack via Angul has become a nightmare for commuters with frequent accidents due to large craters on the road, a report said.
It is alleged the craters have formed due to the ongoing four-laning work on the highway. The agency executing the project is only carrying out expansion work while overlooking repair work. Locals alleged the agency officials are claiming that repair of highway is not part of their work. This has sparked resentment among commuters.
The highway is daily used by thousands of commuters from Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Boudh, Angul, Dhenkanal, Phulbani and Jagatsinghpur. School and college students and office goers also use the road.
Ambulances carrying patients from Redhakhole, Naktideula and Jujumara blocks in Sambalpur and from Boudh districts also take this route to reach the VSS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) at Burla.
Besides, ambulances carrying patients also ply on the highway to reach hospitals in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. These vehicles take a long time in reaching their destinations due to the bad road condition.
While expansion work is going on in one end, the old road is lying in a deplorable condition due to formation of large craters. Commuters have alleged that accidents have become a regular affair on the highway as the consultancy agency has neglected in repairing the road. The agency officials are so apathetic that they do not even cooperate in rushing the injured to hospitals.
The road signs are also not in proper display for which mishaps occur at frequent intervals. The agency has neglected in barricading the sites dug-up for road and bridge works which often results in mishap. A truck recently skidded off the bridge due to lack of barricading of the work site.
When contacted, S Venkateswar, project director of National Highway Authority of India said the agency is being reminded to repair the highway. He assured to rush a team and take up repair work on the highway.