Bhubaneswar: Fly-Overs Or Death-Traps? 5 Killed In 3 Days

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Bhubaneswar: Fly-overs on the National Highway 16 bisect the State Capital into two halves. These flyovers between Palasuni Square and Baramunda stretch over a distance of eight kilometres. Ever since these structures have been built, the travel time between entry and exit points of Bhubaneswar have dropped significantly.

But this convenience has come at a cost. Mishaps, often fatal, have become very frequent on the overpasses. Five persons were killed in three separate accidents on Baramunda, Fire Station and Acharya Vihar over-bridges respectively in the past three days.

The reasons behind these fatal mishaps are diverse, ranging from lack of enforcement, lane-indiscipline to over-speeding. And in most of the cases the victims are two-wheeler riders.

Ideally, the flyovers are meant for the use of four-wheelers and heavy vehicles and the motorists can use the service roads running parallel underneath. However, this is no mandate as a result the flyovers are used by trucks, buses, cars, scooters, motorcycles, auto-rickshaws, et all.

And all these vehicles ply at varying speeds with abrupt halts, criss-crossing adjacent lanes at the driver’s will. To make matters worse, there is little or no surveillance through this stretch. The maximum enforcement one can see is an interceptor van once in a blue moon, to track over-speeding and errant drivers.

But this is certainly not enough compared to the density of vehicles on this stretch. Besides, there are some vulnerable spots such as the Crown Hotel square, where accidents are frequent. But neither the NHAI nor the Police Commissionerate have done much to contain the problem.

Taking into account the number of fatalities over three days, Police Commissioner Satyajit Mohanty has taken serious note of road safety on this stretch. He has directed traffic officials to identify black spots and erect speed-breakers on flyovers on the National Highway passing through the Twin City.

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Satyajit Mohanty, Commissioner Of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack