By Our Correspondent
CUTTACK/RAJKANIKA: The Jagatpur-Chandabali SH (9A) seems turning to a graveyard for the passengers. The SH mainly used by the people of Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur and Bhadrak witnessing death every day with two youths on a motorcycle were run over by a speeding truck near Pir Bazaar bus stand under Jagatpur police limits along the Cuttack-Salipur road on Monday morning.
The head-on collision between the truck and the motorcycle was so intense that the bike riders died on the spot. While one of the deceased has been identified as Satyajit Patra (24), a resident of Rajkanika area in Kendrapara district, the identity of another is yet to be ascertained.
The mishap took place at around 10.30 AM when an iron-laden truck was en route to Salipur from Jagatpur. Two youths who were coming from the opposite side on a motorcycle were hit by the truck which was moving hurriedly to avoid interception by PCR personnel for traffic violation.
However, the truck driver managed to flee the spot soon after the mishap leaving his vehicle.In the meanwhile, locals staged a road blockade on the road stretch near Pir Bazaar, as a result, hundreds of vehicles remained stranded on the both sides of the roads for nearly 3 hours.On being informed, Jagatpur police reached the spot, seized the truck and launched a manhunt to nab the driver.
In first week of December, 2019, while hearing a petition filed by senior Congress leader Dharanidhar Nayak , the Odisha High Court had asked State Government to take steps for the smooth competition of Jagatpur-Chandabali SH as early as possible. The bench of Chief Justice KS Javeri and Justice KR Mohapatra however directed the State Government to take immediate steps in this regard.
The World Bank had in March 2013, cleared the much awaited Cuttack-Chandabali Road project in state to be taken up at a cost of Rs.373 crore. M/S NKC Projects Pvt Ltd, Fortune Group, Engineering Procurement And Construction, the LEA Associates South Asia Pvt Ltd, M/S backbone- Utkal JV, MIS Valecha Engineering Ltd, MIS DPJ-NKC J.Vand few others were assigned worked order. Odisha State Road Projects, a State PSU was the nodal agency for the project.
Appearing for the petitioner Nayak, senior Advocate Khirod Rout had argued that, for the Jagatpur-Chandabali SH, which included Jagatpur-Dhuria(49 km) and Dhuria-Chandabali(57 km), the work started in December 2013 and by March 2016, it was targeted to complete but poor work, inordinate delay in execution work has resulted great loss to the State exchequer.
The petitioner further argued that Jagatpur-Chandabali SH is a lifeline for Kendrapara people while poor work and poor road condition creating lot of chaos and hundreds were killed in past several years in road accident alone on Jagatpur-Chandabali route.
The petitioner also requested the HC to sought report from Chief Engineer and Works Department Secretary for the inordinate delay in execution of the project, which was jointly financed by World Bank and Odisha Government.
Sources also alleged massive irregularities in construction of the road from Jagatpur to Nischintakoili (25 km) and Nischintakoili-Duhuria (24 km) at an estimated expenditure of Rs 205 crore.
The work package from Chandbali to Kendrapara (56.5km) estimated at around Rs 170 crore has not been fully completed yet while the road work also too poor reported from Bhadrakh to Pirahat (27.5 km) and Pirahat to Chandbali (17.5 km).