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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: With the onset of the picnic season (December-January), road mishaps have seen a spurt, in line with the past pattern, which the Odisha government along with the police administration is trying to reverse.

As many as four picnickers were killed while six others were critically injured in a road accident late last night. Another accident was reported yesterday from Taptapani area in Ganjam district where a bus carrying students from Ravenshaw University in Cuttack met with an accident injuring several students.

Callous driving and vehicles carrying passengers beyond their capacity and drunken driving are being cited as the main reasons behind such accidents. As per reports, more than 2000 accidents were reported between December and January last year in which at least 941 persons lost their lives.

Besides, the National Highways connecting Manguli-Sambalpur, Sambalpur-Rourkela, Sambalpur-Sohela, Bhubaneswar-Puri, and Jaleswar-Icchapuram are the most accident prone roads in the State. On Manguli-Sambalpur road only, 180 people were killed in road accidents in 2018.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Padmanava Behera has directed officials to enhance checking on NHs during the picnic season and take stern action against those found flouting the norms.

"I have already directed all the RTOs to be vigilant. Besides, if people avoid rash driving, alcohol and overloading, the rate of accidents will definitely reduce," said Behera.

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