Sambalpur: The Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Wednesday named the ring road of the city after Mahatma Gandhi on the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation.

The 7.5 km road that originates from the Dr Nelson Mandela square and connects the National Highway-53, will now be called Mahatma Gandhi Marg. The ring road runs along the river Mahanadi here.

"The SMC will inform all the government departments regarding the naming of the road after Mahatma Gandhi," said enforcement officer of SMC, Subhankar Mohanty

Mahatma Gandhi had visited Sambalpur twice on December 22, 1928 and May 5, 1934. Both the time, he had addressed public meetings on the Mahanadi river bed near the Brahmapura temple ghat of Mahanadi here, an official of the SMC said.

"Gandhi had stayed in Sambalpur during both of his visits. There are many memories of Gandhi here. Even a temple was built for him. The decision to name the ring road is praiseworthy," said a resident, Mahendra Kumar Mishra, Convenor of Nagarik Kalyan Samiti.

The ring road was constructed to protect the city from flood and provide the people with an alternative road to the city from the National Highway-53 in the year 1997.

Meanwhile, the road has been widened into a two-lane road at an estimated cost of around Rs 23.59 crore.

The beautification work of the road is also going on at a cost of Rs 3 crore by the SMC. The first phase beautification work has already been completed at an estimated cost of Rs 98 lakh. The second phase beautification work of the road is going on at an estimated cost of around Rs 99 lakh now.