Locals launch signature campaign for rail over-bridge in Puri

Puri:Jana Jagaran Manch, a social organisation has launched a signature campaign demanding urgent measures towards the construction of a rail over-bridge at Matiapada railway crossing on the Puri-Konark National Highway in Puri. The rail over-bridge is a long-standing demand of the locals as they have been facing problems due to acute traffic congestion particularly during train hours.

Hundreds of tourists and commercial vehicles are stranded for long during the passage of trains through the level crossing. Tourists from different parts of the State and country are the worst sufferers, as they have to halt for over 30 to 40 minutes at the railway crossing. With over 100 trains originating from Puri Railway Station, the crossing remains closed frequently, alleged locals.

“With the kind of technology available today, the over bridge could have been constructed without much hassle. We criticise the administration and the local leaders as they have failed to redress the issues faced by the local residents,” said Srikant Parija, a resident of Puri.

Meanwhile, the Jana Jagaran Manch has launched a signature campaign to press for the railway over bridge in the area. The signatures will be subsequently sent to the Prime Minister, President of India and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“We have collected signatures of over 18,000 people and we plan to send a petition signed by lakh people to several authorities for urgent action on our demands,” said Jana Jagran Manch member, Ajay Kumar Nayak.

Rail over-bridge action committee member Biswanath Das said “Over two lakh commuters pass through the road every day. We have been continuously raising the demand for an over bridge with the concerned department authorities, district administration and railway officials. We will take up protests if our demands are not fulfilled.”

On the other hand, the Puri MLA and Revenue Minister Maheshwar Mohanty admitted the problems faced by the local residents as well as tourists at the railway crossing.

“I deeply regret the inconvenience faced by the locals. The details of the over bridge construction plan has been sent to the Ministry of Surface Transport. The construction work will begin after getting necessary approvals from the ministry,” Mohanty said.