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Pradeep Pattanayak

Commuting on any Cuttack road will give anyone a nightmarish experience. 

If one happens to be a first time commuter in the Millennium city, it will be par for the curse for them to end up being critical of the administration. 

The roads criss-crossing the lanes and by lanes in this old city are dotted with potholes and craters which turn into pools during rains. The sewerage and drainage constriction works carried out by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have only completed the picture. 

Narayan, a rickshaw puller, has been ferrying passengers for thirty years now. He says rickshsw pullers like him face problems due to bad road condition. The problem gets aggravated in rainy season.

“It is common to see aspirants visiting our areas, asking for votes and in turn, promising the moon. But after the election, they not only forget their promises but they also stop visiting us,” complains Narayan. 

“Cuttack city is synonymous with cycle rickshaws. The business we used to do few years back has been taken away by auto rickshaws, leaving us high and dry. The government is also not thinking about us. How we will feed our family members,” asks Narayan. 

Cuttack city’s claim to fame is its mouthwatering, delicious and tender ‘Dahi Bara’.  And the sellers of this delicacy are excited about the forthcoming Mayor election. 

“I have been selling ‘Dahi Bara’ for 14 years. We require stalls/ vending zones so that our food items and customers won’t get drenched in case it rains,” said a Dahi Bara vendor. 

A young voter says the city is struggling with several problems with water logging and garbage disposal being the prominent ones. 

A city resident complains that their lives turn into hell in the rainy season as they face water logging problems every season. 

A Mangalabag resident holds JICA responsible for the deplorable condition of the roads. “No one can say when our miseries will end” he adds. 

“When election comes, leaders make a beeline to our areas, promising us to end our sufferings. After the election are over, they come once in a blue moon and our problems still remain unsolved,” complains another city resident.

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