Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Feb 17:
The tardy progress of 11 km stretch bypass road of Puri-Biraharekrushnapur-Sterling Resorts road to ease traffic congestion during the Nabakalebar Yatra in Odisha’s pilgrim town has cast doubts over its completion before the scheduled time owing to difficulty in sourcing raw materials.
Faced with shortfall in supply, noncompeting the target by May end would result in failure to achieve utilisation target of government grant for the project, sources said.
In the first phase, a diversion (bypass road) on the Puri-Bhubaneswar national highway is being constructed from Biraharekrushnapur square connecting Mangalaghat crossing at a distance of about five and a half km. In the second phase the bypass road will connect Mangalaghat crossing near Sterling Resorts.
Considering the slow pace of construction work, there is little hope of it being completed before Nabakalebar Yatra. However, departmental officials have said that an action plan has been drawn for completion of double laning work by March on the stretch between Biraharekrushnapur Square to Mangalaghat. Completion of four laning of the road is expected to be over by May, they added.
Meanwhile, sand filling work is being undertaken on the stretch between Biraharekrushnapur Square to Mangalaghat followed by filling with morrum (laterite soil) which is already on in some patches. Shortage of sand has put brakes on the progress of the construction of the road. Now, sand is being excavated with the help of the district administration with police security from sand dunes near the beach, though it’s illegal as per provisions of the law. The law is being openly flouted by the district administration citing Nabakalebar Yatra that in the event of non-availability of sand the road project would not be completed before Nabakalebar.
Sand filling has been done on a three km stretch with digging after land acquisition. However, no work has taken off on the remaining two Km stretch wherein there is a pond which poses a hurdle to be filled up. It’s learnt that after sand and morrum filling is complete, topping with granite aggregates and coal tar will be laid. Besides, transportation of these road construction materials from far off places like Delang and Khurda is contributing to the delay in the construction of the road. Construction workers, engineers and officials are slogging day and night to complete the four laning work of the project before the Nabakalebar Yatra.
While the issue of shortage of sand has been resolved by the district administration, construction work at an estimated cost of Rs 550 crore Puri-Bhubaneswar national highway is getting delayed owing to non-availability of construction materials in close proximity.
With the opening of the road, it will provide a bypass drive for motorists as well as serve for parking of at least one lakh four wheelers during the Nabakalebar Yatra.