Pradeep Pattanayak

Going to express their pent-up anger over the deplorable condition of the Mumbai-Kolkata National Highway-49 passing through Jashipur in Mayurbhanj district, irate local people and Jashipur MLA made the project director (PD) of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to walk two kilometres on the said NH, which is dubbed as death trap.  

The bad condition of the stretch of the NH passing through Jashipur town has been a source of headache for the local residents. While commuting on the stretch, being absent-minded for even a second means to invite danger. This road has reportedly claimed three lives in the past week. 

The local residents have taken up the matter up with the NHAI on several occasions. Even Union Minister Bishweswar Tudu asked the PD of the NHAI to take immediate measures to repair the road. But nothing had happened. 

On Thursday, the PD came to Jashipur town to see the condition of the road for himself.  The fumed residents and Jashipur MLA Ganeshram Singh Khuntia didn’t let the opportunity go and made the PD walk for two kilometres to understand the people’s miseries. The people demanded that the NHAI take immediate steps to repair the road.  

When asked by the journalists, the PD who initially refused to say anything gave them a patient hearing and said, “It is a double-lane road.

There is a provision to make the road a four-lane. But, it couldn’t be possible due to land acquisition issues. Had it been converted into a four-lane road, the problems would have long been resolved. However, within one month the road would be repaired.”

MLA Khuntia said, “The road has so far claimed six lives. Not only me but also the people of Jashipur have been trying their level best to attract the attention of the officials so that the problems would be addressed.”

“It is immaterial under which government the road is coming. But the fact is that people are suffering. Starting from the district Collector to the concerned officials, none is cooperating. It is the district administration that should expedite the development works. But that is not happening. It is our bad luck. Even the 5T secretary visited the area but the situation remained the same,” he said.

  • Reported by:
  • Deepak Mahanta