Rourkela chokes on pollution, struggles with traffic woes amid tardy PWD projects

Rourkela: Residents of the steel city are having a harrowing time dealing with severe air pollution and traffic congestion due to tardy progress of some major road infrastructure development works.

Due to slow pace of two major over-bridge projects, one near Raghunathpalli STI chhak and another near ITI chhak on the main road, connecting the entry point of the city from Panposh has not only posed a big deterrent for the smooth traffic but also increased pollution levels in the nearby area.

Similarly, sewerage works on the Panposh road has forced the diversion of traffic through other narrow roads passing through Civil Township and Hockey chhak and Hanuman Vatika causing dust pollution and hassles for commuters.

Vehicles wait for hours due to traffic congestion. Severe air pollution has also made lives of locals uncomfortable and is affecting business in the main market.

“We had never seen so much pollution in the business hub of the city. Traffic problems have been a nuisance for commuters here. The government should be concerned about the health and safety of people. We urge the government to look into the issue,” said Sukumar Sandilya, a local resident.

Asked, the concerned authorities have assured to resolve the problem by ensuring completion of the projects as soon as possible.

“The over-bridge undergoing construction near STI chhak is likely to be completed by December end and the over-bridge near ITI chhak is scheduled to be over by April next year,” Nirod Kumar Dalabehera, SDO, PWD, Rourkela said.

Sarada Prasad Nayak, Chairman of the Rourkela Development Authority (RDA), said “It is the responsibility of the project in-charge to ensure that at least pollution level is minimised through water sprinkling. Besides, traffic management needs to be more streamlined to ease congestion until the projects are completed.”